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Thread: I didn't realize this was a social faux pas

  1. #1
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    Default I didn't realize this was a social faux pas

    I grew up in a place with very few to no Chinese people. There were like 10 of us when I was a sophomore in High School and was the only Chinese person in my graduating class of 900+ people; if there were others at the time, I didn't know them. I just moved to an area with a large population of Chinese people so I get to meet more Chinese. Sometimes, the question of where everyone is from comes up and I've mentioned that I'm Chinese, from Taiwan. Invariably, the people from Mainland China seems to get offended or they're quick to to let people know they're from the Mainland. I don't understand why, I didn't say I'm Taiwanese (because I'm not), which I understand can be political. Is it wrong to be proud of where I was born?

    I thought my statement is merely one of fact. It's so weird. Do you guys get this too?

    Edit: And is it just me or are the Northern Chinese more adamant about this than the Southern Chinese?
    Last edited by Dennis Chen; 06-25-09 at 03:29 PM.

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    Senior Member xJadedx's Avatar
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    I don't know - I suggest hanging out with different people.

    I never cared if someone is from Taiwan or Mainland or whatever. If people are going to be pissy about that, they're probably not as worth hanging out with anyway.
    Because I'm somewhere in between,
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    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Hah! Should see the faces of Southern Vietnamese when I tell them I was born in Hanoi (North Vietnam) - or when I talk Viet with a Hanoian accent. They think that I'm a bloody uncivilized commie and in turn, I think that they can't speak Viet properly and their foods suck plus they're a bunch of Uncle Sam's arse kissers. They're all bad stereotypes of course but you get the idea of the hostility lurking beneath the faces.

    It's not a social faux pas and it's not wrong to be proud of where you were born, but you have to accept that some people don't have to like it and you should be prepared to stand up for yourself.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    People who hold prejudice against certain geographic locations for no good reason are a sad case. But on the other hand, Mainlanders have been looked down by Taiwanese, HK'ers, and the West for decades, and now they finally have a little more place in the world, I say let them have their 10 seconds of pride, and look straight on to better things.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

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    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen View Post
    I grew up in a place with very few to no Chinese people. There were like 10 of us when I was a sophomore in High School and was the only Chinese person in my graduating class of 900+ people; if there were others at the time, I didn't know them. I just moved to an area with a large population of Chinese people so I get to meet more Chinese. Sometimes, the question of where everyone is from comes up and I've mentioned that I'm Chinese, from Taiwan. Invariably, the people from Mainland China seems to get offended or they're quick to to let people know they're from the Mainland. I don't understand why, I didn't say I'm Taiwanese (because I'm not), which I understand can be political. Is it wrong to be proud of where I was born?

    I thought my statement is merely one of fact. It's so weird. Do you guys get this too?

    Edit: And is it just me or are the Northern Chinese more adamant about this than the Southern Chinese?
    Wait, I am little bit confused... You said that you are Chinese from Taiwan, but then you said that you are not Taiwanese. I understand that native Taiwanese are truly "Taiwanese", not Chinese from Taiwan. However, some of my former classmates are Chinese from Taiwan, but they always proudly say that they are Taiwanese. They also don't have any problems with Mainland Chinese from what I have seen... Taiwanese Chinese and Chinese are all Chinese and they have so much friction. I wonder how they will treat others that are not Chinese??
    Respect other people's opinions and views. If we learn how to do that than all of these fights and arguments will not occur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    Wait, I am little bit confused... You said that you are Chinese from Taiwan, but then you said that you are not Taiwanese. I understand that native Taiwanese are truly "Taiwanese", not Chinese from Taiwan. However, some of my former classmates are Chinese from Taiwan, but they always proudly say that they are Taiwanese. They also don't have any problems with Mainland Chinese from what I have seen... Taiwanese Chinese and Chinese are all Chinese and they have so much friction. I wonder how they will treat others that are not Chinese??
    Might be due to my age and the timepoint in history that I came to the USA. I was born in 1973 and came to the USA in 1978. I understand that most people born in Taiwan since 1980 (maybe even people my age?), regardless of where their parents or their grandparents came from, think of themselves as Taiwanese. I was raised by my parents to think of myself as Chinese. My being from Taiwan is a statement of fact.

    I take your point though. Perhaps I should just say I'm Chinese. Or that I'm from Taiwan. To say I'm Chinese from Taiwan can be a bit political.

    Also, yes, I have also received friction from people who proudly call themselves Taiwanese when I say I'm from Taiwan and correct them when they call me Taiwanese.

    I guess I'm in geographic/nationality limbo. My view of myself appears to be archaic.
    Last edited by Dennis Chen; 06-26-09 at 01:55 PM.

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    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen View Post
    Might be due to my age and the timepoint in history that I came to the USA. I was born in 1973 and came to the USA in 1978. I understand that most people born in Taiwan since 1980 (maybe even people my age?), regardless of where their parents or their grandparents came from, think of themselves as Taiwanese. I was raised by my parents to think of myself as Chinese. My being from Taiwan is a statement of fact.

    I take your point though. Perhaps I should just say I'm Chinese. Or that I'm from Taiwan. To say I'm Chinese from Taiwan can be a bit political.

    Also, yes, I have also received friction from people who proudly call themselves Taiwanese when I say I'm from Taiwan and correct them when they call me Taiwanese.

    I guess I'm in geographic/nationality limbo. My view of myself appears to be archaic.
    So people who were born after the 80s would consider themselves Taiwanese?? I think it depends because I have known people born in the 70s that have said that they are Taiwanese too. It is true that most of the people born in the 80s(like my former classmates who were born in 1982 and 1981) all proudly say that they are Taiwanese. But I know that in their hearts, they also consider themselves Chinese. However, you know the friction between China and Taiwan. I think you remember when I talked about my mom's eye doctor. I mentioned to him that I wanted to go to Taiwan to work and he said that I should go to China because it is better. He is from Mainland China and seemed so anti-Taiwan...

    I used to know this one classmate who was born in 1976 that ALWAYS proudly said that he is Taiwanese. I then said that he is Chinese and he got kind of upset and kept saying that he is Taiwanese. I thought he was from Hong Kong at first and he got sort of offended too.. It is nice that he was proud of his heritage, but I didn't think it was necessary to get mad.
    Last edited by Trinie; 06-27-09 at 03:07 PM.
    Respect other people's opinions and views. If we learn how to do that than all of these fights and arguments will not occur.

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    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    say you're american (or canadian), and that'll be the end of it.
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    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemberly View Post
    say you're american (or canadian), and that'll be the end of it.
    Totally agree!!!
    Respect other people's opinions and views. If we learn how to do that than all of these fights and arguments will not occur.

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    Because I live in the United States of America. Call me *** backwards, but I believe I should be allowed to self-identify myself as Chinese from Taiwan. People from Mainland China don't call themselves American.

    Candide has it right. Thanks, dude.
    Last edited by Dennis Chen; 07-07-09 at 12:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    People who hold prejudice against certain geographic locations for no good reason are a sad case. But on the other hand, Mainlanders have been looked down by Taiwanese, HK'ers, and the West for decades, and now they finally have a little more place in the world, I say let them have their 10 seconds of pride, and look straight on to better things.
    PJ pretty much nailed it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Chen View Post
    Because I live in the United States of America. Call me *** backwards, but I believe I should be allowed to self-identify myself as Chinese from Taiwan. People from Mainland China don't call themselves American.

    Candide has it right. Thanks, dude.
    Dennis, you are not alone with this one. Although, I haven't meet with too many Chinese people myself. However, I am born in the US[NE] mixed with Mainland/Taiwan/US. Yeah, I can see why there can be a culture clash. The mainland and Taiwan always has a bone to pick with each other[for sometime now. Dennis try to move on with it and don't let this stop you. The only advice is try to show mainlander's the positive side of being born in Taiwan is about. That's what I been doing and this isn't easy either. The nice part, as you mentioned,"there is less Chinese", so you got more of your own ability to do whatever you please without people[Chinese] pressuring you[Postively I mean]. Being from Taiwan there is more to offer, if given the chance to do so show it without being fearful.

    I hope this helps
    Last edited by mind_wander; 07-07-09 at 07:52 AM.
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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31753771...s-asiapacific/

    I think this is a stark example of how Han Chinese in the Mainland view themselves now. Ordinary Han Chinese citizens going out into the street to defend the Chinese. Scary.

    So very different from the Han Chinese at Tianamen Square in 1989.

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