Dec. 15, 2020
CHINA'S OBSESSION WITH SUPERSTITIONS.
Imagine my surprise when the General Manager of Beijing Coca Cola, where I served as the English Teacher, explained the difficulties faced by American’s largest soft drink corporation when it introduced COCA COLA to the Chinese people.
Although China has billions of people, there is a centuries-old “pipeline” that easily-broadcasts information throughout China's neighborhoods that is much speedier than any national news flash! This human pipeline is a powerful means of communication, powerful enough to transmit a fear that banned and suppressed sales of the world’s most popular soft drink---for years.
Word “on the street” warned Chinese against drinking the international soft drink, citing the dark brown liquid's ability to would permanently-stain the "drinker's" skin--- the same dark brown color. If a pregnant woman drank this Cola, her baby would be permanently born DARK BROWN.
Highly superstitious, Chinese refused to drink Coca Cola... to gamble on permanently staining their skin. After years of untold dollars and endless marketing--using costly testimonials from American-Chinese pictured drinking the product--a few brave Chinese cautiously took a few sips, waited a day or two, then tried another few sips...and found it didn’t affect their skin’s color-- after all.
All these years later, Coca Cola is a hugely-popular hit in China, easily dominating Pepsi Cola as China’s favorite carbonated drink. Yet, most pregnant women continue to boycott the famous beverage for a full nine months.... still fearful the chocolate-colored drink might color their unborn child’s skin..... black! (Interesting-to-note: Chinese women almost-never date men of color.)
A new theory that threatens to be adopted by the superstitious Chinese emerged shortly before I returned to America in 2000. It seems more and more Chinese are boycotting Kentucky Fried Chicken, one of the most popular American Restaurants in China. China’s notorious “pipeline” began spreading frightening information about American chickens. More-vocal Chinese authorities say American Chickens are treated with high doses of estrogen to improve their appetites, thereby fattening them to attract a higher price for American Chicken Farmers. Reportedly, these hormone-treated chickens convert the chicken-eater into a homosexual... turning men into women and women into men.
Most frightening to the Chinese, babies and young children who eat the chickens are automatically-switched to the opposite sex-- right before their parents’ eyes! This sounds preposterous to Americans who try to separate reality from fantasy, myth, or superstition. But Chinese are- historically--naive and superstitious, always believing what they hear from neighbors-- the so-called "authorities"---the traditional “pipeline”.
My hotel’s Executive Chef-- a mainland Chinese raised in Singapore--became obsessed with the homosexual/chicken premise. As a result, he was successful in boycotting all Chicken dishes in the hotel’s luxurious dining room. Few Chinese customers complained because they, too, believed the chicken/homosexual theory.