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Thread: Chinese Americans are not Chinese

  1. #21
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken View Post
    I tried hard to be one or the other my whole life. Then out of the blue this old man comes in and labels me however he likes. I hanged out with FOBs during high school but we never clicked. I tried to be more American but I've yet met someone who could look past my yellow exterior. It's the same when it comes to women. I stopped chasing Chinese girls for a period of time because I felt they all have the same certain expectations and standards from Chinese guys that I don't have. There were white or Hispanic girls who had crushes on me but when I tried to take it a step further with them I found out we are like worlds apart. Obviously, I'm not entirely either Chinese or American. But if I'm neither both then what I really am is nothing more than a blank state. It's frustrating when someone you don't know tries to steal a piece of your cultural identity. I think this guy in his mid 40's wanted to declare his seniority over me simply for the fact that he was born in the motherland and I wasn't so that makes him more Chinese. I speak fluent Cantonese, I've yellow skin, and I celebrate every Chinese holiday with my family. I'm as Chinese as he is. If I could speak my mind I would've told this old man to do every Chinese person like me a favor and just get over it.
    Pick and choose the aspects of each culture which you like, and adopt it as your own. Discard the aspects of each culture which you dislike, and disclaim them
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Pick and choose the aspects of each culture which you like, and adopt it as your own. Discard the aspects of each culture which you dislike, and disclaim them
    Don't quote Bruce Lee and pass it off as Confucius.

    Quote Originally Posted by Candide View Post
    Radken, you have an identity crisis. Many fellow hyphenated Asians share this with you. Stop looking for other people's approval of your identity & you'll get over it. Build an identity that is unique to you. Don't let your nationality, ethnicity, cultural background or religion become the first & foremost part of your identity. If the first thing people (including yourself) notice about you is that, for example, you're Chinese, then you'll always be bothered by stereotypes & expectations. You can be more than that.
    Honestly, I hardly think about this stuff. Most of the time it's just trivial information lying at the back of my mind. You're totally right but regardless, I can never escape the fact I'm Chinese. That's fine, I can live knowing that because I already accepted the fact a long time ago. I just don't like anyone who tries to dictate who another person is by coming across with their beliefs as the truth. I find that rude and inconsiderate, especially when it's none of their business. Your identity is your own and you decide who you want to be. And yes, the fact I'm Chinese is just a small part of who I am and no one can change that.

  3. #23
    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    I agree. Who is he to judge you and impose his screwed up beliefs. American chinese isn't real chinese - what is real chinese if China has 20+ dialects and ethnic groups. It's worse than an English telling us we can't speak real English.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken View Post

    Honestly, I hardly think about this stuff. Most of the time it's just trivial information lying at the back of my mind.
    You're totally right but regardless, I can never escape the fact I'm Chinese. That's fine, I can live knowing that because I already accepted the fact a long time ago. I just don't like anyone who tries to dictate who another person is by coming across with their beliefs as the truth. I find that rude and inconsiderate, especially when it's none of their business. Your identity is your own and you decide who you want to be. And yes, the fact I'm Chinese is just a small part of who I am and no one can change that.
    You seem to be bothered by people like that Chinese customer though. I like it when people try hard to give me a lecture. It means that as the "student", I get to ask the hard questions & make them look stupid. Rude & preachy folks are entertaining.

    Having said that, it depends on how it's said. If the middle-aged Chinese guy said it with a condescending tone (Chinese > Chinese American), I'd give him serious sh!t for it. Otherwise, I actually agree with him. Chinese Americans are, well, Chinese Americans & not just Chinese.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member foreva's Avatar
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    who died and made this man in his forties the authority on who is chinese or non-chinese?
    no one is really interested in the nitty gritty of what ethnic group you belong to. Compare hongkong chinese with taiwan chinese, they are pretty disimilar, now compare them with mainland chinese. Pretty different. Northern and southern chinese look as similar as a champagne flute and shot glass, but I'm pretty sure they are all drinkware. And being chinese doesn't mean that you get a get out of jail free card. I'm pretty sure that northerners who move to the south are about as foreign to the southerners as overseas chinese, and even more trampled upon, considering mainland chinese do treat us with a little more respect.

    If we have to be cut out from the same cookie cutter to be defined as "chinese", then hardly anyone's chinese anyway. what about those of mixed ancestry? they had it much worse for eons. Consider an ethnic chinese who was born in hongkong, moved to the states when three, studied grade school in singapore, college in switzerland.... and im predicting that he will die on mars. now the multimillion dollar question is, is he chinese? but I'll leave this question to that man in his forties, for I dont give a damn.

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    Who care about race and ethnicity. In this modern world, all you need to care about is whether you are a success or a failure. Success is everything you need and that is what make you proud.

  7. #27
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken View Post
    Don't quote Bruce Lee and pass it off as Confucius.
    To paraphrase Miyamoto Musashi, all Ways are one Way.
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member Jilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candide View Post
    Radken, you have an identity crisis. Many fellow hyphenated Asians share this with you. Stop looking for other people's approval of your identity & you'll get over it. Build an identity that is unique to you. Don't let your nationality, ethnicity, cultural background or religion become the first & foremost part of your identity. If the first thing people (including yourself) notice about you is that, for example, you're Chinese, then you'll always be bothered by stereotypes & expectations. You can be more than that.
    Radken, I'm glad you bring up this topic cuz I'm also going through an identity crisis, as Candide put it. As hard as I try to be myself and stop looking for other's approval, it's easier said than done. And it's not helping when people constantly label me to be such and such. Sometimes you just want to be accepted and have a sense of belonging.

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    All this is irrelevant because to other races (particularly white), all asians look the same. I'm an ABC, and I'll never forget that no matter my progress in life, how much I've assimilated, I'll always be asian in a country dominated by white.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by yearning View Post
    Yeah I feel like I don't fit in as well. I speak Chinese w/ my parents (ok Chinglish), but I feel so uncomfortable speaking it with my Mando friends---always end up speaking English anyway.

    I'm really fobby when it comes down to music, movies, media, interest in culture (I don't care too much about Canadian music/movies/culture lol), but I never hang out in fobby groupies. So I don't know what to identify myself as meh. I guess saying Chinese-Canadian isn't an unfair phrase =P
    I totally what you mean. but I'd be an ABC not CBC. But I have a few friends that speak mandrian but we always end up speaking english. But then I am fobby in the fact I do keep up on Taiwanese and Korean soaps and entertainment stuff.

    When I was younger my mom would take me back to Taiwan and she would take me out on the street and I wouldn't even say anything and the store owner said shes from America huh? But then Americans consider me Chinese. Another example I was with my dad and talking chinglish then this white guy asked me something and i replied in english and he was like how long have you been in the country? He was like cuz your speak english without any accent.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candide View Post
    You seem to be bothered by people like that Chinese customer though.
    I don't understand why he has to be so precise about the topic. What are the benefits of having such a clear-cut definition of what is Chinese and Chinese American? Is the need to distinguish ourselves from each other with details worth dividing up the Chinese community even further? To the point where we don't get along, or even in some cases hate each other over the most tiny differences? It's ironic the country sees us as a whole but we come nowhere close to being unified. We don't have a common voice and if something happens to one group, the rest of us is not gonna stick up for one another because we all seem to have vendettas against our own. The customer bothered me somewhat because he's wrong for trying to influence the next generation with that same mentality. We achieve nothing and it's more harmful than good.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken View Post
    I don't understand why he has to be so precise about the topic. What are the benefits of having such a clear-cut definition of what is Chinese and Chinese American? Is the need to distinguish ourselves from each other with details worth dividing up the Chinese community even further? To the point where we don't get along, or even in some cases hate each other over the most tiny differences? It's ironic the country sees us as a whole but we come nowhere close to being unified. We don't have a common voice and if something happens to one group, the rest of us is not gonna stick up for one another because we all seem to have vendettas against our own. The customer bothered me somewhat because he's wrong for trying to influence the next generation with that same mentality. We achieve nothing and it's more harmful than good.
    There is a positive and negative sides to everything. The negative is that asian people in US, Canada, and Australia, ect... aren't unified and care only about personal interests. Even among the chinese themself, the wealthier chinese would look down on the poorer chinese. Different ethnic chinese dislike/hate each others and would take advantage of the others when ever they can. The richer vietnamese would look down on the poorer vietnamese. North and south vietnamese tend to dislike each other. When someone of their ethnic commits crime the group would not support him/her but instead distance themself from that person saying that person deserves the maximum sentence for the crime. The positive side is because we don't have the organization to rely on, we tend to work harder and save up more in case of emergency. We also commit less crime since we know that we don't have any organization to back us up like the NAACP would back up any black criminal of any crime. The asian is the most successful group since we are the highest earner with high saving rate and the lowest crime rate, STDs, Drug adict, ect....

  13. #33
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    The largest group of immigrants to Canada in the past few years are from China

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesG View Post
    The largest group of immigrants to Canada in the past few years are from China
    because it's too long a walk from Mexico to Canada.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    There is a positive and negative sides to everything. The negative is that asian people in US, Canada, and Australia, ect... aren't unified and care only about personal interests. Even among the chinese themself, the wealthier chinese would look down on the poorer chinese. Different ethnic chinese dislike/hate each others and would take advantage of the others when ever they can. The richer vietnamese would look down on the poorer vietnamese. North and south vietnamese tend to dislike each other. When someone of their ethnic commits crime the group would not support him/her but instead distance themself from that person saying that person deserves the maximum sentence for the crime. The positive side is because we don't have the organization to rely on, we tend to work harder and save up more in case of emergency. We also commit less crime since we know that we don't have any organization to back us up like the NAACP would back up any black criminal of any crime. The asian is the most successful group since we are the highest earner with high saving rate and the lowest crime rate, STDs, Drug adict, ect....
    I don't see how there is "ANY" positive in not being unified??? YOu can't compare another group to what your "personal" view of the NAACP and the black community is. I would like to debate more on this issue but don't want to get off topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemberly View Post
    because it's too long a walk from Mexico to Canada.
    Zing! I like Mao, that makes me pretty Chinese right? :P

    To contribute constructively, as others have already mentioned, it comes down to definitions.

    From my standpoint, being Chinese goes beyond skin/hair color. I consider myself thus because:
    • I like the culture. I'm very selfish and individualistic at times, but I would prefer it if the world was more collectivist. China's becoming more and more "Westernized", with less household savings, a faster pace of life, etc. And I wish this wasn't the case. I guess I'm a conservative in this sense.
    • I like watching the sometimes ridiculously childish dramas. Sure "24" is the most thrilling and "The Office" is the funniest series. But there's just something about wuxia that hearkens to me.
    • I like speaking the language. All of my azn friends speak English at home, and I never did. It could be because I grew up in Xi'an, but there's plenty of other kids I know who moved here when they were 10 and only speak English.
    The point I'm trying to make is that if you're yellow skinned with black hair and Chinese parents but want to have nothing to do with the Chinese culture, despise the language, and feel no sense of patriotism for the country, then I wouldn't consider you Chinese. But if you do yourself, then by all means.

    And I will disagree with some of the comments here, that you should decide if you want to be Chinese or American or whatever. This is ridiculous. Find out what you want to actually do (play ping pong instead of tennis, major in engineering instead of women's studies), and feel content that way. There shouldn't be a reason that you would want to fit someone else's definition. If other people label you one way or another because of what you do (I made the choices stereotypical for this reason), so be it. You're happy doing what you want anyways.

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    Listen,

    You should have told him that the real Chinese live in China. And since he doesn't live in China, then he's not really Chinese at all.

    Full credit if you could make him curse.

    Extra bonus points if you could make him cry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trien Chieu View Post
    You are chinese american?
    If I remember correctly, you said you are from Australia where prostitution is legal and all that....
    Australia? Prostitution? Are you implying I'm an Australian prostitute? You're confusing me with 0-0-0. Okay that was a little mean - sorry 0-0-0 You just happened to be the first Aussie girl I thought of, so feel special
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Australia? Prostitution? Are you implying I'm an Australian prostitute? You're confusing me with 0-0-0. Okay that was a little mean - sorry 0-0-0 You just happened to be the first Aussie girl I thought of, so feel special
    No, that is not what I mean. I never said that you are a pros.
    When we discussed about whether society should legalize prostitution, I against it because in my view it is a bad thing and send the wrong message to young girls that they don't need education. They can be successful by becoming a prostitute.

    If I remember correctly, you said prostitute is a profession in australia with government regulation and everything is ok. You support legalize it. So I thought you are Australian..... That is all....

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