American man highly spoken of by Chinese netizens for breaking bread with panhandler

May 7, 2012Jing Gao21 Comments, , , , , ,

A foreigner who snacked with an old beggar on two bags of French fries and chatted with her on the side walk has become the latest hot topic on China’s social network.

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On the afternoon of May 5, user “轻疯患者Mr_Q(Weibo page)” posted on Sina Weibo a photo with comment: “Outside a McDonald’s restaurant, a foreigner bought two bags of French fries. He handed one bag to an old granny who begs on the street. The two chatted happily while sitting on the ground.” In another photo, the foreigner pours water into the beggar’s bottle.

The photos have been reposted by thousands of Weibo users and inspired a round of soul-searching. Many refer to the scene as a heartwarming moment, and give the foreigner an endearing nickname “Brother Fries”. Li Chen, a Chinese actor, commented, “There is always true love in the world. In fact, non-verbal communication can, as the saying goes , speak volumes.”

There are also net users who think the whole thing is not worth the publicity, “This type of thing exists in any country. It is nothing special.” User “PM爬爬爬”said, “If I were him, I sure wouldn’t mind buying some good food for and practicing speaking with a foreign granny…”

Later, Modern Express, a Nanjing-based newspaper reported that the American man is named Jason Loose. He came from Los Angeles to Nanjing University last September to study Chinese and now works at a sportswear company in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province. Many Chinese students at the university say that he came across as honest, sincere and always ready to help others.

Jason Loose

Jason Loose, an American from Los Angeles, now works at a sportswear company in Nanjing.

Asked about the friends he cast upon the waters, Loose told Modern Express, “Each person deserves our respect. Sitting down and chatting with the old person can let her know that in this world, there are people who do care for her.”

“She told me that she is in her 80s and has just come to Nanjing from her hometown in Anhui province. Because her children is not able to support her, she can only beg on the streets,” Loose said.

Some friends of Loose warned him that many beggars in China are actually frauds unworthy of help. Loose dismissed the idea with a smile, “They are right. I don’t know much about things in China. I am just a guest here.” He said he hopes the old person is not a swindler. But even if she is, she is still one with misery, and he would not mind helping her.

Some used unmistakable sarcasm by calling Jason’s act an orchestrated performance, an allusion to the editorials in the state-run newspapers three days ago that attacked Gary Locke’s austere work style as a façade for embarrassing Chinese government.

iJames007:According to Beijing Daily’s argument, this must be a performance staged by imperialistic Americans, an effort of “Anti-China forces abroad” to disintegrate Chinese people! Beijing Daily, hurry up with your onslaught!

长安县令 :Such a handsome American young man chose to sit down outside a McDonald’s restaurant with a granny who begs on the street and share with her a bag of fries. What motive does he harbor? I insist that China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tell the U.S. embassy to reign in its citizens and prevent them from putting on performances.

Other comments on Sina Weibo:

o丹妮娅o:It is absolutely common that they do this in their own country…I often see people chat and drink with homeless people. Why they become role models as soon as they arrive in China?~

那些年我们流逝的青葱岁月:Foreigners are a lot better than Chinese at some things.

零的路西法:Great young man. A glory of our Nanjing University.

巴彦淖尔盟电信分公司王霞:How pathetic China is! It’s become so indifference and pathetic. Where is this country going? Ah?

斑比的叔叔:I carried bags of rice for a British granny too. What a big deal?!

丫丫琴露淝彧:Everyone’s way of expressing their feelings is different. Chinese people differ from foreigners in their way of caring for people and doing good deeds. We should learn what is good from them! [鼓掌]

DavidLeon:I feel really ashamed! Isn’t it at Guangzhou Road gate (of Nanjing University)? This granny seems to have been lingering around there for a long time. But every time I went there, I skirted around her, because she liked to hold a pot and beg for money while sitting on the ground. Even though the granny is a professional beggar, Brother Fries Jason from the U.S. is really a good guy! I am quite moved, as I would at most throw the granny a few coins and never eat fries with her.

米粒恋夏:A really nice guy from abroad. If foreign friends are capable of it, should we Chinese people reexamine ourselves?

故乡的茶干:I personally dislike the way this story is disseminated, especially when it is raised to a higher plane of nationality and politics. Had the good guy been an Asian face, no one would have even bothered to take a picture.

小狸猫峰行天下[赞]Love, is without borders. [心]

开心tony:Even though there are all kings of unfairness in the world, we can still treat every one nicely with fairness.

tiffany_0328:I don’t know why the more publicity this story receives the more I dislike it…

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21 comments to “American man highly spoken of by Chinese netizens for breaking bread with panhandler”

  1. Parigi | May 7, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Once the French Ministry of Culture gave me half a dozen tickets for a special Beijing opera performance sponsored by the ministry at the People’s Theater in Beijing. I gave one ticket to the old man loitering outside the theater. He was so happy. But the Public Security bullies would not let him in. They told me the performance was for foreigners, not for the Chinese even, and the ticket made no difference.
    Personally I have not experienced racism in either the US or France, two countries where I have lived, but that day I witnessed racism in China, Chinese being racist against their own people.

    • Blacksoth | May 8, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      @Parigi I had similar experiences when I was there as well.

      I loved the sarcasm. Hilarious! I was surprised at the comment by PM爬爬爬 that somehow it was all a ploy to practice his chinese skills. Really? There aren’t non-beggers he can practice with? You do know China has a billion people in it, right?

      • Jing Gao | May 8, 2012 | Permalink Reply

        No surprise. I have so far read probably millions of comments by netizens, and my experience tells me that there are just too many Chinese who hate to admit that Western countries and people have merits and would come up with any excuse to dismiss the idea.

        • Blacksoth | May 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

          I think most chinese people know this (although maybe with a lack of access to information they don’t see it as often).

          Gary Locke is a perfect example of a humble chinese man, for which he’s been called a banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) which is intended to be an insult to chinese-americans but is really a slur to chinese everywhere. Chinese can’t have good values? Nonsense.

          It’s not about race, it’s about values. China just has a warped system that rewards the wrong things, but there are plenty of moral chinese in China even if they’re not always recognized for it.

          I remember a story you did about an old chinese man that had started an orphanage with practically nothing, picking up orphans off the street. That’s a great example of a human being in any country.

      • JACK | May 24, 2012 | Permalink Reply

        YOU ARE BITCH
        BUT AT LEAST HE IS KIND.

        AND YOU? A BITCH AS ALWAYS

    • Jing Gao | May 8, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      I am so sorry to hear about that. Yes, I agree. A Chinese might be discriminated against by his own race for a myriad of reasons, like being short, being homely looking, being poorly dressed, having no privilege, or even wearing a non-LV bag.

  2. [...] American becomes social media sensation by snacking with homeless woman. [Ministry of Tofu] [...]

  3. DaoKeDao | May 9, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Human beings in general are discriminatory. It’s not just Chinese. Though I loved the story about the beggar outside the theater though. I think he would have been stopped in the door in Sweden as well.

    • Parigi | May 9, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      “I loved the story about the beggar outside the theater though. I think he would have been stopped in the door in Sweden as well.”
      I who posted the theater story never said it was a beggar. In fact it was not a beggar. You are wrong.
      If you immediately think so, it only shows your own prejudice.
      In Sweden or anywhere else, I hope people are not so prejudiced as you.

  4. DaoKeDao | May 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    You one tough aggressive SmurfTroll aren’t ya!?
    How does that make me prejudice? The OP’s post was about panhandlers. You talked about a man loitering outside the theater. I assumed he was a beggar? How does that make me prejudice?

    Logic? 逻辑?

  5. Amy | May 11, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Why didn’t he just buy the old granny a bottle of water or give her his bottle instead of pouring the water from his big bottle into her smaller one? Not giving enough, it seems.

    • Parigi | May 12, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      “Why didn’t he just buy the old granny a bottle of water or give her his bottle instead of pouring the water from his big bottle into her smaller one? Not giving enough, it seems.”

      O yes the cheap bastard. Unlike all the other passers-by.

      • JACK | May 24, 2012 | Permalink Reply

        FUCK YOU BOTH

        LET ME SEE WHAT WILL YOU DO YOU CHEAP SON OF WHORES

        • Parigi | May 24, 2012 | Permalink Reply

          Jack: I rarely see someone who is so eager to be profane that he fails to read obvious sarcasm. I was being sarcastic about Amy’s reply.
          Please improve your reading skills.

  6. [...] has also been in evidence. An American student became an internet sensation earlier this month when he was photographed sitting on the pavement talking with an elderly beggar in [...]

  7. [...] has also been in evidence. An American student became an internet sensation earlier this month when he was photographed sitting on the pavement talking with an elderly beggar in [...]

  8. JACK | May 24, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    NOW THAT’S A WAY TO EXPRESS HOW KIND YOU ARE

    I ADMIRE THIS FOREIGN FRIEND AND GOD BLESS HIM

  9. [...] also been in evidence. An American student became an internet sensation earlier this month when he was photographed sitting on the pavement talking with an elderly beggar in [...]

  10. faye | May 29, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I agree with Paragi about Amy. Mr Loose has the good heart to share his big bottle of water and sharing is very heart warming. He could just buy a bottle of water, a packet of fries and leave them for her and walk away. Being together chatting, eating, and drinking gives the other person dignity, a feeling of belonging, and probably a whole day of good feeling. Maybe more. It is not being cheap, Amy, it is about caring. And for others, who has nothing to say, I have this advice. ‘If you have nothing good to say, shut the fuck up.’

    • expat in awe | May 31, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      Well put Faye,

      tho, the locals, who know NOTHING about how to use the F-bomb in context, will no doubt assume you are uneducated. my advice, be careful witht he F-bomb, as you know truth matters nowt here where public opinion rules over reality.

      yes, he spent TIME with her, our most precious commodity.

      non-sarcastic, slap to the forehead, oh i see the big picture now reply…

      i still stand by my comments, what does it matter whether he/she was a foreigner or not, old or young, boy or girl…

      tho, here, it DOES matter

      racism, hides everywhere.

  11. expat in awe | May 31, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    it disturbs me that the issue of nationality or race is apparent here.

    while, i personally wouldn’t sit down with a beggar, it’s nice that a person did. (note, A PERSON, no mention of race, creed, gender or nationality)

    i completely understand some folks indifference, and even “tiffany_0328:I don’t know why the more publicity this story receives the more I dislike it…” as the media, and people, tend to sensationalize things to the point of desensitizing us to the effects.

    Jason, you are a good guy, don’t get me wrong. though I am sure that the attention must be getting to you.

    I’m friends with a fellow who did a good deed and saved a life last summer in Shanghai. At one point, he was asked to be in a debate on whether or not Chinese folks have morals are care for their fellow man.

    What an awkward place for a guest to be put in…

    in regards to orchestrations from one gov’t to make Jason do this… come one, you watch too many movies…

    in regards to why would he do it? what are his motives???

    really? a five kuai bag of fries, a splash of wather and 5 minutes of time constitutes an inconvenience of ginormous proportions that surely have a deeply political and material motivation…

    does it matter?

    really?

    and what does Mr. Yang and his apparent “all Chinese hate western spies” think of this?

    Perhaps Brother Fries was really looking for GPS coordinates … Brother Spies is more like it. Right Yang Rui

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