The Chinese family in Tom Yum Goong

The Chinese Gang kills and eats elephant in Tom Yum Goong.

We have to admit that the Chinese people are the most tenacious race in the world. In most time of Chinese history, you can find that their government spent much time to rack their brains to feed their large population. The government understood that hunger breeds discontentment that would lead to the overthrow of the government. And you can see that once famine came for a long time and if it was not settled, uprising would break out. And the wilds were full of dead bodies of the starved, which is dreadful to your mind. You have to say is a miracle that they survived the tough years, and have made brilliant achievements nowadays. As months and years pass by, they develop the habit of managing to eat every comestible thing they can reach.

This time, they get a big one in Tom Yum Goong, a 2005 Thai martial arts action film starring Tony Jaa and Jin Xing. In the film, the Chinese Gang led by Jin Xing steal, kill, and eat the elephant brought up by Tony Jaa to make specimen for symbol of fortune. We all know the importance of elephant to the Thai people. As the key element of Thai culture, the elephant is the symbol of power and grace. A Thai historian said that the Thai history would be rewritten without elephants. The Thai people think that elephants are understanding, industrious, and capable, and elephants are cheap labors and cute tour pets. Elephants are intelligent and rich in spirit. Tony Jaa goes to fight Jin Xing and get back the baby elephant.

The Chinese gang.

In the film, the Chinese Gang was not led by Jin Xing in the beginning, but by Shen, the leader of the family. Shen has a son Chao, and a nephew Kang who is the cousin of Jin Xing. Shen dies, and in order to scramble for inheritance of the family fortune, Jin Xing kills Chao and Kang, without a heart of compassion and without the consideration that Chao is only 13 years old. And Jin Xing becomes the only successor.

Here the film Sketches out the basic characteristics of overseas Chinese family gang.

The family is the same time the reactionary gang. The family members are bonded by blood and affection that are the most effective belongingness in traditional Chinese society. In the family organization, the family itself is the best and tightest way of holding the group. It is the cheapest to organize the huge and rigorous members and gang activities. Outsiders that are not of the same blood can only do some assistant work and cannot enter the core of the organization. And the true key members are well protected by the outsider group.

The family member fights each other. There is a saying that a Chinese is a dragon, three Chinese is a worm. The saying tells the truth that every member wants to be the boss. When he is the subordinate that works for the boss, he doesn’t do his own job for the good of the family, but deliberately plan to replace the boss. When he becomes the leader, he would become imperious. Only when they are in very close relations, they are really of one family. But they are ready to fights each other, even their own closest relatives, once the interests are not share equally.

The families are greedy and cruel. The family is always in the cover of normal business that makes them rich. They are rich overnight, and they become flamboyant and showing. Just like Jin Xing in the film, traditionally he wants to prove his fortune with some kind of symbol that the elephant skeleton is covered with gold. They are cruel, and wipe out everything and everyone on their road.

Why does the Chinese family organization in the film always show in the face of gangsters?

In films, the Chinese family organization in the film always shows in the face of gangsters. Of course, inherent discrimination and prejudice against Chinese partly contributes to the phenomenon. But there are unique reasons that are found in Chinese organization.

The Chinese organization is based on traditional social clan structure, which brings close cohesive force for the organization.

The inherent discrimination and prejudice against Chinese Enhances the cohesive force. When struggling with foreigners, they unite together.

There are plenty of low-end processing plants or other kind of work place where Chinese people gather together. In the social bottom, there are strange persons and abilities and they are aggressive.

The culture difference, social barrier, and language difficulties make them hard to integrate to foreign society. They must unite to survive.

The Chinese Exclusion Act or other action against Chinese makes them difficult to go into some high-end domain, though they are clever enough and qualified for it.

Chinese family gangsters also are heritages from the former Chinese immigrants. And it is hard to dismiss a well-organized organization.

Chinese people are normally peaceable, friendly, and unwilling to make any trouble, but sometimes gangs of other immigrants or other race threatens their lives, and they counterattack for survival.

For all kinds of historical reasons, Chinese family gangsters become the important parts of the gang power. They are insidious, strong, and bloody, and they cannot be ignored.

But all these become history. The new generation Chinese immigrants are highly cultured and steeped in propriety. And they actively integrate into the local community, and they are well received everywhere, in every country. Film people should take off the tainted glasses, and open their eyes to reality.