blogging gobbledygook and such

1. She is so uncomfortable in Chinese restaurants that her 90-year-old great-uncle PC has to order her dinner for her yesterday. She was promptly punished by the Chinese gods by having said great-uncle spit into her face with bits of food while they were talking.

2. She couldn’t master using the chopsticks until well into her teenage years, where she practised with disposable chopsticks on her instant noodles in the comfort of her home, away from scornful, condescending Chinese eyes.

3. The very rare occasions when she is forced to converse in Cantonese, it is spoken in the wrong accent and intonation. Frustrated with the way she sounded, she once tried to converse with an old Chinese man in Malay and was promptly fucked off by him, “You’re Chinese and you want to speak Malay with me?! Shameful!” (said in Cantonese, of course)

4. She watches Chinese shows by reading the Malay or English subtitles. Otherwise, she cannot follow them.

Yes, she is the stereotypical banana mocked by her fellow Chinese. Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. She speaks impeccable English, but shamefully stutters speaking Cantonese. Let’s not even ask her if she knows Mandarin. One of the few phrases she can utter in Mandarin perfectly is wo pu hui cheang hua yi (I can’t speak Mandarin), to which the reply is invariably, “But you said that in Mandarin!”

Ya lah, that’s the only damn thing she can say in Mandarin, duh! Use your blain a bit.

She grew up in English, surrounded by people who speak it, write it, read it, and listen to its music. Her first utensils are the fork and spoon. The only Chinese characters she commonly comes across are the ones on her ang pow packets and the tiles of her mother’s mahjong.

All grown up now, she reads English novels, she studies English, she does everything in English. She developed an interest in Romance languages, but has not gone around to improving her Chinese-speaking skills. She wants to do a European backpack tour, and has no interest in travelling to China. She knows more about the Western culture than she does the Chinese culture. Does that sound like a person who unconsciously wants to be Caucasian? The ang moh wannabe?

Is a Chinese person defined by what he or she does that is characteristically associated with the culture of the Chinese? Speaking Chinese when conversing with her Chinese friends. Listening to Jay Chou and S. H. E. Eating bak kut teh and knowing how to order it in Chinese. Celebrating Cheng Beng.

If you’re Chinese by nature but not nurture, does that identity become hollow?

Is she a bad Chinese? Is she rejecting her roots? Is she not proud to be Chinese? Is she ashamed that she’s Chinese?

Probably, possibly, no, no.

Comments on: "Are you proud to be Chinese?" (24)

  1. I’ve always thought that you don’t have the obligation to love a culture and embrace it just because it’s where your family is, or even where you were born…or even where you live. And you definitely aren’t obliged to feel guilty because you don’t. Haha I’m way worse, because I’m Colombian and I’ve lived here all my life, but my life couldn’t be more… what’s the word, westernized?. I don’t dance salsa and tropical music, I headbang to metal and rock; I have a blog in english even though we speak spanish. (I do speak spanish perfectly, cause like… I live here). I want to visit every place in the world but I’m not really interested in travelling around my own country. I don’t have anything against it, I just happen to like other things. Even though people say I’m “Not proud of my roots”… I think this shouldn’t be forced upon ya, if you feel it, you feel it, but sometimes you just don’t and it’s okay.

    And you have even more rights not to be into it, seeing as you didn’t grow up in China.

    And this is so cool:

    “wo pu hui cheang hua yi!”

    That might come in handy if I ever get lost in China. I’ll probably have to write a sign because I doubt I’d say it right.

    sulz: the society does place an obligation upon self and that can be pretty tough when what you do and like is not accepted as something you’re naturally interested and gifted at, but rather viewed as someone rejecting the culture of your people. that said, you definitely have a point. you can’t please everybody, so at the very least you should please yourself!

    sorry couldn’t tell how to say do you speak english? ‘cos, you know… 😉

  2. You must determine who you are. Never trust anyone else to do that for you. If you do you can expect to be classified and grouped all your life (you will anyway) and find yourself trying to become what someone else thinks you are. Do not let someone else control your life in that manner.

    I am a citizen of the USA so I consider myself just that. I do not claim to be an Irishman or a Dutchman or Scotsman or any of the several other nationalities that are a part of my family. People often look at me and say you’re Irish. I have no trouble claiming that they are a part of my family heritage, but those countries are not my nationality. I tell them sure I have some Irish ancestry but I am an American from the United States. (That really pisses off nosey people. 🙂 )
    People will always classify you – but you have to push past their shortsightedness. You have to expose to them who you are. They may never see past the end of their own nose but down inside you know who and what you are. If they cannot accept that then tell them you know a building from which they are more than welcome to jump off of. (Just make it a tall one. 🙂 )

    sulz: then this “englishness” is self. perhaps you’re right – why should be forced to learn the chinese culture if it’s not something am naturally interested in? it will just make self dislike it. the desire to learn about one’s own culture should come by itself.

    to an extent, though, there is a desire to want to know own mother tongue, but not enough to actually go and do something about it.

  3. First, let me say that I wasn’t born in the US. I was born in Asia; however, I am not Chinese. I feel like the specific ethnicity is irrelevant, as my culture, I believe, is very close to Chinese culture. I can understand why people who are not born in their parents’ homeland would feel that it’s unjust to force them to learn the culture, language, and understand the country that their parents, not they themselves, come from. My brother came here when he was three, and as you probably guess, he speaks English now 100 times better than our native language, although he speaks to my parents in that language. Sometimes I feel like Asians who are born here have a hard time finding their identity. Although those who grew up in Asia have a much harder time “fitting in” and learning English, and frequently made fun of for their “fobby” accent (goodness I don’t like that word), they don’t have to question whether they are “American” or something else. They’re definitely American, yet they have an undeniable part of them that belong to another culture. I guess I can also understand why you’re not extremely interested in Chinese culture (although I think it’s fascinating and will probably try to learn Mandarin in the future.), just because of personal preference, just like I don’t like (American) football.
    So far I’ve only read positive comments on here, so I’d like to contribute something different. I believe that the Chinese culture is part of who you are, because as someone once said, “If you don’t know where you came from, you wouldn’t know where you’ll be going”. It’s important to understand and be able to relate to your parents, because I would think that they value their culture a lot (correct me if I’m wrong). If you don’t know much about the Chinese culture, how would you understand them to a greater extent? Or are you not interested in that either? Learning a language is no doubt difficult, if you put any effort whatsoever into it, I don’t see it as excruciatingly painful. In fact, I enjoy languages (as posted above, it seemed like you are, too). If right now, my parents make me learn Swahili, I will. It’s a question of “why not”? Because if I have an hour to waste everyday to go on the Internet, I can definitely put it into studying something relevant to my life.
    Last of all, I would like to say that nurture can be even more important than nature. If a white person knows an Asian language really well, and is really interested in the culture, I will call him more “Asian” than someone who has an Asian face but knows nothing about the culture. For example, if it’s just the nature, not the nurture that matters, I can definitely claim that I’m Chinese. If someone asks if I can speak any Chinese dialect, I’d just say “No!”. What do they do? Ask for my driver license to check my last name against the list of Chinese last names? Or do you think they can tell which Asian ethnicity I am based on my facial features? Probably not, if they don’t do it consciously.
    the scoundrel: what you say, I’ve written so many times in essays it’s ridiculous. What you say is so true, so true that it’s being used so many times. Let me ask you this: Can you tell which is a British guy, a French guy, or a German guy? Maybe you can. But I can’t. Can you tell which is a white guy, and which is an Asian guy? I hope so. Because I can. I don’t know if I illustrated my point or not, but there is no “American” race. Europeans were the first to establish this country (after the Indian tribes were driven off, that is), and for so many generations it became unimportant to identify you as a specific European ethnicity. But for Asians it’s different. Some people will say, “How is it different? We were born here and we are no different from our white friends.” Then you might say “I respect my culture, I’m just not interested in finding more about it.” It’s always indifference that annoys me more than stupidity ever does. In that manner, I respect almost anything that’s not immoral. Like, you know, I “respect” vegetarianism, every single language and culture in this world, the wall I’m facing, Shakespeare, so on and so forth. I don’t want to be narrow-minded because of my background, but I feel like while you contemplate on how much you dislike learning about the Chinese culture, you can actually use that time to learn about it, if you’re a little more open-minded. Or maybe this has to do with residues of teenagers’ rebellious feelings when their parents force them to do something they dislike. Or just anything their parents force them to do.
    I would just hope that you attempt to learn more about your culture, because, well, it’s something that matters. And for what you said, what you’re naturally “gifted at”, you’re gifted at learning romance languages but not Cantonese? I’ve never met anyone who learns Spanish so well, yet have an extremely hard time learning Japanese. (And not to be biased, my concentration is Spanish) Language skills should be common to learn all languages, and you have an easier time learning a romance language just because they’re similar to English. But if you are naturally gifted at learning languages, you will have no trouble with any language.
    crazyasuka, I don’t think it’s justified to say you’re not “proud of your roots”. I never really wanted to travel around my country, or learn any traditional instruments. I wanted to play the guitar and piano, wanted to travel around Europe, wanted to learn English perfectly … It’s just that you don’t necessarily feel interested in what’s so close to you. Now that I’m away though, I feel so much more interested, and I also respect the culture more because I don’t take it for granted.

    sulz: how long did it take you to think and type all that? 😉

    may have to explain the parents’ backgrounds here. both parents are fluent in english and it is their mother tongue. they can speak some chinese dialects. their mannerisms and ideologies are more western-influenced than eastern-influenced. so in a way, am actually the second generation of “westernised chinese” (for a lack of a better term), as parents are already very much westernised.

    am not getting your example of nature. claiming you’re chinese just because it cannot be determined at that moment in time doesn’t make it nature, that makes it lying…

    parents have not forced self to learn anything out of self’s interest, including self’s chinese roots. it’s not practical to use time and money to learn something am not interested just so to cultivate forcibly some sort of liking towards it. am not saying am shut off learning the chinese culture, but am saying that it’s not one of self’s desires at this moment. in the future, that desire could come, and it could not.

    to think that if one is gifted in learning certain languages would make learning any other language therefore easy is a superficial perception. no doubt, romance languages have similarities with english through word borrowing, but make no mistake that it’s easy to learn just for that. have learnt dutch before – english and dutch are genealogically related in the language family tree – but found dutch more difficult to learn than romance languages! chinese should theoretically be much harder as it is an entirely different writing and speaking system.

    to clarify, crazyasuka did not say she’s not proud of her roots, but rather people have told her that.

    you are an example of an individual who’s lived outside of his/her culture/country of origin and have developed an interest in it, perhaps even more than one who is living in it.

    and am an example of an individual who’s lived outside her her culture/country of origin and did not develop much interest in it, due to many factors, but could have interest ignited one day.

  4. Interesting post as well as the comments you’ve received. You know? I have Chinese, French and Hispanic heritage. My great grandfather was from Canton, my great grandma was from France. If you see my grandpa, he’s a Chinese man with green eyes. How ‘cool’ is that? 😀

    From my whole family, I’m the one who looks more like my grandpa. Personally, putting my Hispanic part aside, I feel more Chinese than French. Does this make sense? 🙂

    sulz: wow, how hot do you look? 😛 (based on that idea that children from mixed parentage always look good!) yea, hanh definitely gave some food for thought as self replied his comment yesterday!

    why not? it just means that you’ve gotten to know one part of your culture more than the other, and knowing any part of it can’t be bad! do you speak french or any chinese dialects?

    your grandpa is freaky! he sounds like the oriental version of harry potter. lol 😛

  5. Sorry for misunderstanding your parents’ background (which I was taking too much for granted). If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about people being upset that I didn’t want to learn Chinese. As you said, your parents received a “westernized” education, and you’re second-generation. I would just frankly call myself American and not have to worry about these cultural things. I mean, the first Americans came from different countries, but gradually no one really bothered to say “I’m Scottish”, or “I’m French” anymore.
    My example of me saying “I’m Chinese” is to ask that, what do you think make you Chinese? Is it purely the genetic reason that, because your parents are Chinese, that makes you Chinese also? Well, I don’t think genetic reasons are the only criteria that people use to define themselves as a certain ethnicity. When someone says “You’re so … American!”, he/she doesn’t mean that your parents had such pure American blood, does it? Wouldn’t he/she be referring to the way you act that represents the American culture to a great extent? Do you deny that culture plays a big part, if not even greater, than nature? Given my country’s proximity to China, and given how big China is, my answer that I’m Chinese might not even be a lie due to intermarriages! I would never say that I’m Chinese, however, because I already identified with another culture that’s separate from the Chinese culture.
    As for the foreign language part, I disagree even more. If you’re “good” at learning languages, you’ll be good at most languages. What you’re referring to, is interest. Your interest can boost your performance in a subject area, no doubt, but interest and aptitude are, well, different. Your case is similar to a scientist who worked with mammals having an easier time switching to human physiology than another scientist who just worked with flies before. Do you call the former scientist “naturally gifted” at “mammalian biology”? Or would you, perhaps, just call him “naturally gifted” at “biology”? It’s easier for you to learn romance languages, so you say that you’re naturally gifted at these. Then, let me ask, how does that separate you from any other normal English speaker? Wouldn’t they have an easier time learning a romance language than, say, Japanese just because of the similarities?

    sulz: well, you had no idea until had explained in more detail. okay, you call yourself american, am going to call self malaysian (see about page if you don’t get this…).

    okay, think get what you mean better after your explanation.

    yea, you could be right about self’s aptitude in learning chinese by virtue of self’s interest and ability in romance languages.

  6. “yea, hanh definitely gave some food for thought as self replied his comment yesterday!”
    Oh yes, with sarcastic comments like these, I’ll be writing more comments in the future! And more self-replies to make it more interesting as well!

    sulz: it was not meant as sarcasm. what you argued has its points. in referring to self’s case though, they were more miss than hit as you had no proper background knowledge of self’s situation.

  7. “wow, how hot do you look?”

    Sizzling hot, baby! 😀

    My grandpa the oriental version of Harry Potter? that’s awesome 😀 In his youth, he was a very handsome man. He’s told me how he was the heartthrob of many women. 🙂

    When I was a kid, I was learning French but I wasn’t that interested so I just stopped. I WISH I could speak either Mandarin or Cantonese, but alas… maybe someday when I’m less busy I can start learning them. 🙂

    sulz: if going by your previous avatar, yes, that picture looks quite… 😉

    when you do find the time, don’t try learning it by yourself ‘cos that doesn’t work! you have to go for classes. or go visit hong kong. nothing like learning the language by being in the country.

  8. LOL @ banana.

    That’s what most of the “real asians” here in the states call my wife. She’s 3rd generation (they call it “ABC” for American Born Chinese) and her family had insisted two generations earlier when they arrived here that they would talk, act, dress, and eat like “americans.” They didn’t do this because they were ashamed to be Chinese, quite the contrary, they are fiercely proud of their heritage. They did this because they believed that they needed to be open to new ways of thinking if they were going to join a new society. It’s actually quite noble when you think of it that way. It takes great courage, humility to a certain degree, and dogged determination to succeed in the face of adversity.

    I think in addition to that one must realize they were enterring a country that during that same decade (1940s) had interred Japanese American citizens and would soon be at war with N.Korea and Communist China within the next decade. Tough times to be an immigrant from asia, but they still brought their Chinese ancestory with them. And it’s still here!

    We must also remember that culture is not a static thing. If it were, then the ways of the 1800s would still be en vogue. They are not. Even traditions that are thought of as constants morph over time beyond recognition (consider the commercialization of Christmas, for example). So what exactly is this “culture” that you should feel pressured to follow blindly?

    Love thyself first, and then love others. You can start with folks within your own “group” (however one chooses to define that), but then should extend that love to members of all groups, essentially destroying all preconceived classifications. No race, no nationality, no creed. Just people.

    Personally I wish my wife was a bit closer to her roots as I’m fascinated by ancient Chinese history (think “Romance of the 3 Kingdoms”). I also think it’s hot when she says things in Chinese (what little she knows), but we won’t get into that. 🙂

    sulz: your perspective makes a lot of sense, and am inclined to think that way. deep down inside, though, am also feeling like should get in touch with self’s chinese side more, though do realise that no matter how much ‘chinese’ can learn to become, it will not make self more or less ‘chinese’ because of the reasons you’ve stated.

    hmm, wouldn’t mind living in some caucasian-populated country who thinks chinese girls are hot. 😉 and imagine, could be cursing at people without them ever knowing what it means! (unless am so unfortunate to meet a caucasian who actually understands cantonese. 😮 )

  9. Umm…If he’s caucasion in the U.S. and knows Cantonese curse words – chances are he’ll be asking you to say those things to him and won’t be offended one bit. 🙂

    You should come to the States. We could throw a wordpress party! It’s an excuse for a kegger!

    (badly sung to the tune of Neil Diamond’s “America”)

    “From over there across the sea,
    Sulz is comin’ to America!”

    sulz: haha, you’re right!

    would love to go to the states some day, maybe even during wordcamp (usually held in summer at san francisco, home of wordpress creator matt mullenweg)!

  10. […] mean very little, because I’m terribly Westernised. You know you’re not that Chinese (but that doesn’t mean we’re not Chinese, we ARE) when you’re sitting at the only table in the restaurant having your reunion dinner using […]

  11. Im Chinese, but I hate all Chinese people…!!!
    Free Tibet!!!

    sulz: uh, means you hate yourself too? that’s a shallow way of thinking…

  12. I agree with alot of these comments. You are who you choose to be. Other people with similar skin color (and probably some mutual ancestors) have no right to tell you who to be. I doubt you wish you were anything but what you are. We are all individuals, and that’s a concept that very few people nowadays can get their heads around.
    My wife is Taiwanese, I am Caucasian. We get crap from both sides. I get accusations of “asiaphile” which is TOTALLY ridiculous, and she gets accusations of “selling out” or something totally ridiculous like that. Fact is we have a loving, respectful relationship, and we are destined to face a lifetime of people judging us without so much as speaking to us for a single second.
    Don’t listen to the judgements of ANYBODY…..rise above it and ignore it.

    I love my wife and she loves me. Period.
    Plus we’re both artists so when we have kids i’m thinkin’ they might be super talented, good lookin’ little half-breed cuties!!!

    i can hope, anyhow


    sulz: hi, thanks for leaving a comment and sharing your experience. 🙂 i’ve a friend who’s in an interracial marriage like you (he’s also caucasian, and his wife chinese) and he gets that asian fetish accusation too, which i agree is ridiculous! though you can’t deny chinese women are hot. 😉 it’s great that you and your wife are able to dismiss stereotyped and harsh judgements of your relationship.

    i’m sure your kids will be as what you hoped. 🙂

  13. I am chinese and i sm PROUD of it.
    many men think i am beautiful and so do i . (:
    but seriously…people are PEOPLE. Period. So
    i think tha anyone whose not proud of being H U M A N is an idiot!

    or as we say in china: Iy ShiDa

    –Ya Shang Li Hiy

    sulz: thanks for commenting. i think all chinese are proud to be chinese, especially after the recent success of beijing olympics. 🙂

  14. […] I know I don’t have to beat myself up about this, since I’ve written a similar post in the past and had readers saying that race doesn’t matter! Just a pity post as a result of my inability […]

  15. I… need help, I think. A little background, I’m a chinese, full chinese perhaps, or maybe I have a bit caucasian blood somewhere like great great grandfather or something since my grandpa had blue eyes and some of me friends did ask me whether I have a caucasian blood. I told them no, at least not that I know of. But they insisted that my height and skin color looks like I have mixed blood despite the fact that I *think* I look chinese. So I came home and asked my dad, he wasn’t sure but he did say that his father had blue eyes (he died when I was 1 or maybe even younger so I never met him). Do I have mixed blood? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps not. Although I’ve never even been to China. I can’t speak chinese, my parents can’t speak chinese, let alone reading and writing in chinese.

    But that’s somewhat irrelevant to what I’m wanting to say right now.

    So the real thing I want to say is that… Since a few days ago, particularly few days before Christmas (yes I am a Christian and my family are Christians since like forever), I don’t know why but I think I have an identity crisis because I wish I were a caucasian. I can befriend one, I can marry one, and I can even give birth to one (well, half, technically) but I’ll never be one. It consumes me so bad today that I feel like sharing this somewhere, and I chose this place.

    I’m in my late teenage years and people say it’s common to have identity crisis at my age but I don’t think I can handle this well. I just need some nice words or something to overcome this because I don’t even know what triggered this. I hope it’ll brush off in a few days or so. But for now I feel like crying.

    Am I proud to be a chinese? Few years ago, yes. A month ago, umm maybe. Today, no. Why? I have no idea. Am I embarassed to be a chinese? Heck no. Am I a chinese at all? Not sure anymore after reading your entry. Sorry if my post doesn’t make sense, I’m rambling and I’m as confused as a duck.

    sulz: hey there. it’s okay to feel confused. if you read the comments in this post, many of my friends think that it doesn’t matter how little you know about your own culture, you are still chinese. as for that possibility of being of slight caucasian mix, doesn’t make you less chinese.

    even though i am born chinese, i don’t feel chinese because i do not know much about my own culture and do not believe in its beliefs. i think i would feel more chinese if i tried to learn more about my culture or learn to speak mandarin. i also think that if i were abroad in a country where chinese people are rare, i would be prouder of my heritage and be forced to know more about my culture since people of other nationalities would be asking about mine! 🙂

    i don’t think i’m helping much in my reply, but i hope you will sort out your feelings. otherwise, start a blog, it’s very therapeutic. 😉

  16. Yeah, I can’t wait to get over this and laugh at myself. I’m sure I’ll have a good laugh. Now come to think of it, I did laugh at michael jackson. I thought what a fool he was, trying to be someone else instead of accepting yourself as you are. Now I sorta know how he felt, and I learned not to laugh at other people (the hard way lol) because you never know when things like that could happen to you.

    I thought that sort of feelings are controllable and it’s just the person being a fool. But today I learned that’s not the case. At least for me it’s not. It came out of nowhere and I can’t seem to kick it away.

    As for being abroad, well that didn’t happen to me. Instead, I find myself wanting to be part of them. Although maybe that’s also because I can’t relate to the chinese culture and I, too, don’t believe in its beliefs as most of them don’t make sense to me. Language too, I can’t speak any sort of chinese language, mandarin, hokkian, hakka, or anything (Both parents can’t either, so I have no hope :P). Have attempted to learn one and failed miserably. I think I’ve given up with the language, too hard for me.

    And, having a cousin who’s half caucasian doesn’t help (I’m not jealous, just a little envious 😛 And this is her computer I’m using as she’s not present). It’s true that mixed couples make beautiful babies though, she and her little brother ARE cute 😀 I want to have some one day, hopefully. Sigh.

    And I know what I envy from white people, in my eyes they’re physically superior. With fair skin, straight nose, colorful eyes and hair, I find them physically attractive. I’m not saying that chinese men are unattractive, though, I’ve dated one in the past, but then again I also have dated two whites. (Currently single now, *hint hint* LOL)

    Anyway thanks, your reply means a lot to me. I feel better now, hopefully it’ll be gone by tomorrow. Feeling like this is no picnic, believe me. I hate this feeling, useless and it distracts me from things I need to focus on, but I can’t control it. Sad.

    Once again, thanks. 🙂

    p.s: I don’t think there’s a country where chinese people are rare. Chinese are everywhere, we rule the world LOL.

    sulz: well, it’s easier to judge than to empathise until we’ve walked a mile in the other person’s shoes… 🙂 as for white envy, you could get coloured contact lenses for a quick fix in the physical department. if you don’t have a straight nose, well, i wouldn’t recommend plastic surgery unless you’re really really sure about that and if you can afford the fees.

    i don’t have the urge to be white, but i do admit that my lifestyle is white-influenced. i read western literature almost always, i prefer eating western cuisine to chinese food any day, i enjoy christmas better than chinese new year personally! and i do have a thing for westerners. 😳

    glad i could help in some way. if the feeling persists, i really recommend blogging. (i’d want the link then, hehe.) it helps you put those thoughts to words and while it may not solve the problem, you’ve got it all down somewhere and perhaps then you can focus on what you need to because what’s bothering you has its own place and you can go back there when you can and need to. 🙂

    yeah, considering we’re the most populous race in the world. 😆 obviously i’m referring to countries where chinese are a minority.

  17. I don’t really think I can start a blog and update it regularly as I’m not usually this superfluously wordy 😆 Only when something boggles my mind, which is not that frequent.

    Anyway nice talking to you, I feel much better now, although still not in the mood for assignments. Sigh. 😳

    By the way I won’t do plastic surgery 😆 I’m not that desperate. Also, contact lenses scare me. Hair dye, also a no. Love my hair too much and I love its natural color (dark brown)

    sulz: well, there are no rules to blogging really. you can write in it once a year or not at all. your blog, your rules after all. 🙂 i know, asian people with caucasian eye colours look freaky to me. and i love my black hair too, though i get into a fancy whim of dyeing it blue every now and then, lol.

    good luck with the assignments. 🙂

  18. You Guys most probably are Singaporean. am i right?

    sulz: no.

  19. I am Filipino but my great-grandparents in my father side are Hoklo and Cantonese.

    sulz: that must be nice. 🙂 are you in touch with your chinese side?

    • Not really but thinking of my Chinese heritage makes me proud. 🙂

      sulz: that’s good. 🙂

  20. Ok I really have to comment this after reading some comments.

    Basically most ethnic youths born in a western country are taught to reject their roots and minority cultures, they are told to assimilate and adopt all things western.
    They were TAUGHT to reject and did not CHOOSE to reject it given that they had little to no choice.

    It is the dominant influence and makes them look at them selves through westerners eyes therefore are likely discriminate against themselves and their own people.

    As a Chinese born in a western country I can tell you that I was never encouraged to embrace my identity or given the necessary resources to suitably pursue my own native culture, other my own people and family there was basically no one else.

    So the position or perspective of an ethnic person claiming that they are being forced to learn their native culture, roots, language etc is actually misconceived….

    Such results in many ethnic youths growing up with an identity crisis or self hate, they know that the dominant ‘white culture’ simply does not suit them but then were only ever taught to be ‘white’.

    The myth about mix babies are being better is false and fabricated by personal prejudices that never matches the results, it is in fact racist.

    Kids are beautiful because they are kids, not because they are ‘mixed’.

    The truth is there are just as much ugly mixed babies as there good looking ones

    … sorry to say things so bluntly and brief but I’ve only a limited time to post.

    But to the Chinese people, keep trying to improve and educate yourselves about being ‘Chinese’ and if you fail then give the next generation of Chinese that chance.

    (be careful of the non authentic stuff)

  21. Hi, I can relate my experiences. I’m a 40+ year old ethnic Chinese man living in Singapore – my family background is Peranakan – meaning my Chinese ancestors migrated to Malaysia and Singapore 100+ years ago, and their descendants learnt to speak Malay/English instead of Mandarin. I grew up in an English speaking environment. My family from both sides all conversed in English. My initial experience with Mandarin speaking Chinese was not pleasant – virtually all my Mandarin teachers were sadists and they used to administer the worse punishments on us. I grew up hating and loathing Mandarin for this reason. I guess the moment I discovered my Chinese roots was when I had to go to Australia for my high school (because I flunked my mandatory Mandarin exams), I experienced racism first hand. Ironically the worse racist was a Eurasian kid whose mother was white and his father chinese. He wanted so badly to identify himself with Australians that he become a “white supremacist”. But he was clever enough not to display his racism in front of the teachers. He was eventually promoted to become a prefect and head of the school. After High School I had to enter the Singapore Army for 2.5 years of National Service. And in the Singapore Army, they ridiculed me for my slight Australian accent which I had unknowingly picked up during my 3 year stay there. Its funny because to the Australians, I sounded “”Chinese”” but to my own countrymen, I sounded “”Aussie””. 20 years onward, I think race is not such an important thing – you are what you make yourself to be, It takes time to find your own self-identity. Its not something you come to overnight but something you find after a long period of self-reflection. I still can’t speak Mandarin fluently. But I’ve overcome my dislike for it and have been doing language classes. But I’m fortunate to live in cosmopolitan Singapore and not Hong Kong where most of the population there speak Cantonese and not English.

  22. hi, I’ve been living in new zealand for 6 months and have met with some mainland chinese. since I’m chinese-indonesian, I usually introduced myself as chinese to them and pointed out that I was unable to speak mandarin due to political constraint (our country had coup and the president outlawed chinese culture and language for 30 years). it seems they don’t see it as problem and actually impressed by my english (perhaps because they want to learn english at first place instead of speaking chinese).

    fortunately I am not totally ‘banana’, I’m still able to use chopstick, still have chinese name, I still celebrate chinese new year and know few chinese phrases. I guess it’s different from people to people. these mainland chinese are kinda closed compared to others (though I think it also happens with vietnamese, they prefer to hang around with the vietnamese by default), they are really nice folks after you establish friendship.

  23. Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this amazing site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be
    back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

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