Monday, 27 July 2015

PART TWO OF PLAYMATES FROM FAR-AWAY PLACES...


Image copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

I'm not quite sure just how common the name SUZIE is in China,
but I'd hazard a guess and say not very.  From the back cover of
LITTLE STAR #2, published 43 years ago in 1972.

10 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

I see something of a bucolic focus in these depictions of far off lands and their peoples. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that, Suzie and that guy from Switzerland aren't that closely representative of typical natives from their respective nations. Do you think it's a good idea to present a idealised picture of foreign culture to kids?

Kid said...

To be honest, DSE, it's perhaps a good idea to present foreign kids as not too different from our own (idealized, as you say), as it may help to combat, even to a small degree, racism or bigotry as they're growing up. After all, we encourage them to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, so letting them think that foreign lands are attractive (as, indeed, some are) and that foreign kids are just friends they haven't met yet is probably not the worst thing we can inflict on them.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I seemed to recall a film called 'The World Of Suzie Wong' so I googled it and, yes indeed, it was a book and a film (from 1960) - a Chinese girl could be called Suzie if she lived in Hong Kong as they have Western first names and Chinese second names.

Kid said...

Ah, but this particular girl lives in China - it says so on the page. I know - we'll assume she was born in Hong Kong and moved to China a couple of years later. Problem solved.

B Smith said...

I think I've been made somewhat flustered and confused by your Babe of the Day entries...when I saw "Playmates from Far Away Places' I was expecting to see something, er, slightly different....

Kid said...

Yeah, BS - that Hugh Hefner has a lot to answer for!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

To be honest, DSE, it's perhaps a good idea to present foreign kids as not too different from our own (idealized, as you say), as it may help to combat, even to a small degree, racism or bigotry as they're growing up. After all, we encourage them to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, so letting them think that foreign lands are attractive (as, indeed, some are) and that foreign kids are just friends they haven't met yet is probably not the worst thing we can inflict on them.

Me neither, and I've seen how Asia has accepted Christmas in this silly "Hallmark Holiday" sort of presentation. It's easier to digest that than the religious origins it came from.

This girl probably has a name that starts with an "S", but it's a case of it being hard for a Westerner to pronounce so going with "Suzie" worked, at least for a kids book. It's true though that those in Hong Kong tend to have Western/Anglicized first names a lot, funny that didn't carry over to the mainland otherwise.

Ah, but this particular girl lives in China - it says so on the page. I know - we'll assume she was born in Hong Kong and moved to China a couple of years later. Problem solved.

At least we're not discussing whether this is "The People's Republic of China" (a.k.a. "Mainland") or The Republic of China" (a.k.a. Taiwan), we could be here all night on that!

Kid said...

Which is why it's probably a good idea not to discuss that particular subject, Chris. After all, I need all the beauty sleep that I can get.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I'm pretty much beyond that anyway.

Kid said...

Now now, Chris - don't put yourself down. There'll be someone out there who no doubt thinks you're a handsome devil.

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