I am Chinese American

Chinese AmericanIn the eyes of most of the world, I am solely a Chinese girl.

Where are you from” is a common conversation starter with random strangers, who, when I give them a true, but unsatisfactory answer, shake their heads and say “no, where are you REALLY from?” Sometimes, they skip this question all together and ask me why I don’t speak English tinged with an accent (preferably something ching-chongy). Otherwise, they just take one look and scream “NI HAO” or “KONNICHIWA” at me.

Hey guess what? I was born in America. I’m a Chinese American girl.

Yes, I do speak Mandarin, but no, I can’t tell you what that calligraphy says. Yes, my parents do value education and a good job, but no, they are not Amy Chua “tiger parents.” Yes, I am a good “Chinese” daughter and listen to my parents, but no, I don’t follow blindly. No, I will not give you a sensuous massage. No, my soul is not crushed from my “misogynistic heritage.”

I am not the exotic, petite Chinese girl you see on television (when they have Chinese people on television that is). I have huge feet. I am taller than the average white girl.

I am horrible at math. I’m allergic to pastels and most pop music. I pop the “fob sign” (the victory sign) facetiously. I use SAT words in my everyday conversations. I think in English (once in a while in Chinglish).

Amy Tan does not represent me, my experience, or any of my friends’ experience.

And definitely definitely, I am NOT a banana/twinkie, AZN, American Chinese, Chinese-American, or ABC (American Born Chinese), thank you very much.

***

What’s the difference you may ask? Let me break it down for you:

Banana/Twinkie:  This is the Chinese American who completely rejects his/her Chinese heritage. They pretend to be white. They only associate with whites. They dye their hair blond in some futile attempt to look white. They may even bleach their skin. They hate that they look “ethnic.” They are ashamed of themselves. We use this term derogatorily. No one, not even the banana would wear this label proudly.

AZN:  This is a Chinese (or Asian in general) American who is a little too proud of their Chinese heritage. They drive “rice rockets,” blasting their hip hop out of speakers too big for their souped up cars with giant spoilers. The boys tend to emulate hip hop artists; the girls the latest Asian pop star. They’re loud about their “Chinese-ness”, but more than likely have no idea what being “Chinese” means and are probably embarrassments to their family.

American Chinese/ABC:  A term given to Chinese Americans, usually by Chinese people. My parents called me American Chinese, because they thought that having the “American” before the “Chinese” meant I was American first. But grammatically speaking, American Chinese and ABC (American born Chinese) emphasize the fact that the person is first and foremost Chinese. American becomes the adjective that describes the Chinese noun. For those of us who were born in America, this term gives off the impression that we are not American. We are foreigners in the land that gave birth to us.

Chinese-American:  Peter Feng, in his essay “In Search of Asian American Cinema,” explains why Asian Americans, including Chinese Americans, decided to drop the hyphen: the hyphen represents a persistent discourse which suggests that Asians will never be fully accepted as Americans. Grammatically speaking, the hyphen makes ‘Asian’ and ‘American’ into two nouns, suggesting that Asian-Americans are caught between two distinctive cultures.

Again a question of grammar. In order for us to be accepted as Americans, we dropped the hyphen so that the Chinese became the adjective describing the American. In short, instead of being Chinese (noun) and American (noun), we are American who happen to be ethnically Chinese.

Of course, no one is actually conscious of these terms unless they really looked into it, so I’ll let it slide.

***

So I am a Chinese American girl. Apparently, we don’t get a good rep in many circles. Here are some of the things I’ve heard over the years:

  • We only date other Asians (Asians from Asia and Asian Americans)
  • We only date non-Asians
  • We hate our Asian features and so dye our hair blonde and bleach our skin white
  • We love our Asian features and so exploit them because it makes us exotic
  • We are innocent lotus blossoms
  • We are dragon ladies who will rip your heart out and eat it for breakfast (along with your little puppy dog too)
  • Our parents wish we were boys
  • Our parents want us to be submissive
  • Our parents control every facet of our lives and have squashed out individuality
  • We are quiet and timid
  • We are loud and skanky
  • We are virgins
  • We know some secret Chinese sex act that supposed to be amazing

Quite frankly, if we were all these things I don’t know how we’re actually functional.

My favorite out of that partial list is the perception that being female and Chinese means that you are automatically treated as a second class citizen. A second class citizen in your family no less. It may have been true in the past. It may still be true in some Chinese families. But it is not true of all Chinese American families. The Chinese American families that I know, the Chinese American family that I grew up in, value their daughters. My female Chinese American friends with brothers tell me that their parents see their daughters as the success stories of the family. They are their parents’ pride. They, in one friend’s words, are ALPHA. I once asked my dad if he wished I were a boy or that he had a son. He told me that I was being stupid.

Maybe that’s just because after America lifted the immigration ban on Asians in 1965, more and more educated Chinese immigrants came to America, many of whom were from the cities. They may have brought a different mindset than their rural, apparently “backwards” predecessors (I honestly don’t know).

Then again, my parents were the product of the Cultural Revolution. Most of my friends’ parents never went to college or have almost illiterate grandparents. Our families all started out as working class, working their way up to a middle or upper middle class life.

But one thing’s for sure, they sure do love their daughters.

What does this all mean? I have no idea. Sometimes I wake up and feel like I’m a girl, or a metalhead, or a nerd. Sometimes I wake up feeling Chinese-American, forced to straddle two cultures by some invisible hand. Sometimes I wake up Chinese American, proud to say I’m an American and proud to have the adjective in front of it.

But usually I wake up feeling like me. I am a person. I am not, cannot, and will not, be lumped into a category because of what I look like. I am more than the color of my skin.

And I think that’s what all Chinese Americans want.

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GentleGiant
Member
GentleGiant
5 years 3 months ago

Nice post Louisa; I can tell you get really pissed off, so I will stop saying Ni Hao when I meet tall oriental girls, just in case.

I am confused though; 48.91% of your local population are tall oriental girls with big feet?? :shock:

It must be something they put in the local water supply :lol:

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Haha thanks for the comment. The whole “ni hao” thing is annoying, but what’s more annoying is that I get more “konnichiwas” from people. Guess it’s just that we all look alike. :roll:

And it’s true though, most Chinese Americans are larger/taller than their Chinese counterparts.

There definitely is something in the water. ;-)

Lily
Guest
Lily
5 years 3 months ago
Maybe it’s more or less the same as how some foreigners greet Chinese girls “konnichiwas or ni hao or whatever…” ,followed with the question of assuming that they are from Korea or Tiland or Janpan, or Philippines etc. It’s really not pleasant, uh? :???: I don’t remember where exactly I read before. I think Crystal also had similar experience to this. Am I right? I didn’t pay attention that many Chinese Americans are larger/taller than our Chinese counterparts. Is that because of different food? :roll: By the way, one of my girl friends has big feet which made her quite… Read more »
Lavvy
Guest
Lavvy
5 years 3 months ago

I think that us second-gen Chinese Americans were weened on milk and other highly nutritious foods and that’s made us into the giants that we are. One of my friends is a US size 0-2 I know here and she’s a size large in Hong Kong.

I’m a size 41 in China. I tell shoe salespeople that and they laugh at me. It’s depressing.

SB
Guest
SB
5 years 3 months ago

My girlfriend was born and raised in China and she has trouble buying shoes everywhere. She’s a size 40-41 (US 8.5-9) in a D or E width (as opposed to the “standard” B width). Finding wide women’s shoes is much harder than finding large ones.

Crystal
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Generally speaking, most Chinese girls wear the sizes 35 to 38. I wear 36, for example.

But my friend – Mrs. Li (from the story about jealous husband) – has 33-size. That is also a problem, because it’s the smallest size for adults. Sometimes, she has to compromise and buy 34 instead. And even 34 is very small and not every brand has it.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Wow Crys, your feet are HUUUUUUUUUGE!!!

:cool:

shaun/tenzenmen
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

my wife is thai but non traditional and non conformist (i’m english and we live in australia). she gets very frustrated when we go back to visit thailand and all the hawkers there shout out ‘konnichiwa’ to her! haha!

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

haha, I get asked if I’m Korean when I go to China. I honestly don’t think I look Korean.

Louisa L.
Guest
Louisa L.
5 years 3 months ago

I actually get asked that quite a bit too, but not only in China. Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, they all think I’m Korean when they meet me even though I’m full Chinese. Just thought it was a weird coincidence considering our names and everything.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Wow that is a funny/weird coincidence. Maybe all Louisas look like they’re Korean…haha

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago

Its already been tested that most can’t tell the difference between Chinese, Korean and Japanese faces alone.

Its usually how you dress. Maybe you dress closer to Koreans so they would feel you look Korean. Korean fashion is the most westernized fashion among those 3 Asians. So if you dressed in any western brand they would think you’re Korean.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I can tell a difference by the clothing. Japanese girls sometimes have darker skin and aren’t afraid of showing it. Japanese girls seem more excited about, well pretty much everything. They always seem to be jumping around.

Louisa L.
Guest
Louisa L.
5 years 3 months ago

Power to the Louisas!
I dress pretty American in my opinion. T-shirt and jeans. In any case, they said that I looked Korean because of my facial features. I can usually tell who’s what by either facial features or teeth. If all else fails, look at the surname or listen to the accent.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah same here. Jeans and a t-shirt (creepy…). Although I have dyed hair so…maybe?

I can usually tell a different between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean men, but women are harder…and then you have those last names like Lee and Young that apply to more than ethnicity. I once had a friend named Tyrone Young, who was Taiwanese. Confused a lot of people who just looked at his name and were expecting a black guy.

Louisa L.
Guest
Louisa L.
5 years 3 months ago
My hair is dyed as well, though given that color treating hair is fairly popular and common I suppose it’s not a huge deal. Here’s something I’d be surprised if we both shared though: I am mistaken for Mexican occasionally by non-Asians. One time while at work, a White lady came up and said “¿Cómo estás?” along with several other times where Mexicans mistook me for their own. Took me by surprise for sure as I feel that I at least look very Asian, if not Chinese. Although a decent number of girls are named Louisa in central Mexico from… Read more »
SB
Guest
SB
5 years 3 months ago

Assuming you live in the US, you probably shouldn’t refer to them as “oriental”.

Ignatius
Guest
Ignatius
5 years 3 months ago

Wow, I love this post.

Ian
Guest
Ian
5 years 3 months ago

My ex of 10 years (Japanese) in Australia used to be abused by old Diggers (ANZACS or ex soldiers) on ANZAC Day in Australia. This day is when many of the ex Diggers get pissed in the early hours then wander the streets… Some throw abuse at their reminders of old hatreds.. She and her friends would be rather bemused by the spectacle until I taught them how to say in colloquial Australian “Blow it out your arse you stupid old git!”. Nasty perhaps, but gave them immense amusement and turned their feelings of being abused into a humourous episode.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

That is terrible (the Diggers, not your ex). But yeah, I’m a firm believer that using humor to combat hate is the best way to go. Shows that you find these people silly and can potentially embarrass the other person, which is always hilarious.

Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Ni Hao (bahahaha) Good post Louisa. I like tall girls being that I am tall. So I might hit on you haha! Don’t think it is purely an Asian fetish though, as my ex partner of almost a decade was English heritage and almost 5’11”, and also dark eyes and dark hair. The revenge on my preference for darker featured women is that my cute little daughter has blonde hair and blue eyes, how did that happen? My family has some Scottish background although we have been in Australia for several generations at least, but I don’t ever wear a… Read more »
Kyle Pulsifer
Guest
Kyle Pulsifer
5 years 3 months ago
Yeah, i think identity is really tricky. When i was in studying in Shanghai, I met this American of Chinese descent. It was both of our first time in China, and I noted out loud something (cannot remember what) to which he took offense to by reminding me that he was Chinese. I foolishly told him that I told him that I thought he was American (you know, since he mentioned that he was born and raised in America and this was his first day in China), and he took more offense. I guess he identified with his Chinese-ness more… Read more »
Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

I think your friend needs to lighten up a little. If you didn’t mean anything by it then it doesn’t really matter. I’ve had non-Chinese friends note things about Chinese people, and if they were wrong I’d say something.

I’m only offended when people automatically assume things about me because of my ethnic background. Like they think “oh she’s Chinese so she must be A,B, and C because that’s what they do.”

Bored in Melbourne
Guest
Bored in Melbourne
5 years 3 months ago

I guess you must also be a martial arts expert?

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Funnily enough, I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Ooooohhh, so dangerous!

I knew all you Asian’s knew martial arts. I will behave myself.

WanderingAmerican
Member
5 years 3 months ago

You always have something interesting to say in the forums and I’m glad to see that it carried over to your guest post. I think I’ll check out your blog right now. I feel so socially enlightened. :mrgreen:

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Thanks so much!

My blog is extremely boring and I almost never update, so just a warning.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Good stuff, Louisa. But for every one of your points I feel I can counter it with one for my exp as a foreign bloke in China. Glad to see I’m not the only one being put in a pigeon hole.

:mrgreen:

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

You know, I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like to travel China as a non-Asian. It’s already annoying when I have to explain to people in China that I was born in America. It must be equally annoying for you, especially since I think Asians are the most racist race.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I think many Chinese people can be very ignorant of other people from other countries. For the most part I find life is good for me here. Yes, I get the ‘HELLO-OOO-OOOOO’s from countryside Chinese having a big day out in Shanghai, but I just shout back ‘NI HAO TONGZHI!’ and that’s the end of that.

I wonder what Chinese tourists in a western country would think if a group of white people just started yelling ‘NI HAO!’ at them and started guffawing like a bunch of fools at them.

Elijah
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Thank God someone else mentioned that.

I mentioned before about the whole “HERROOOO!!!!!!” and baboon laughter before as well.

I’m not excusing their rudeness by re-asking “where you’re really from”, however most of the people that I know would say “ni hao” or “konnichiwa” not to offend but either to impress or put you at ease or just as a conversation starter.

scarlet
Guest
scarlet
5 years 3 months ago
Maybe one in ten people strike a filthy look, it feels like one in three but it isn’t. It doesn’t matter if you just explained in Chinese how some complex piece of software works twenty minutes ago, if you get a male cashier at McDonalds he will always try to communicate in broken English, grunts and slightly aggressive gestures. Lots of badgering too and higher prices. I had some young guys speculating loudly about the size and shape of my penis in the elevator today, I did my best to ignore them, so they just thought I didn’t understand and… Read more »
Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I had assumed from your blog name that you were female

scarlet
Guest
scarlet
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah, that’s I have started to post as “donscarletti” a lot of the time, since I figure it makes it seem much more masculine. Scarlet still rolls with my muscle memory though… hard to kick the habit, though it only has one t.

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago
HAHA Chinese Americans…. They damn fun to poke at!!! Chinese Americans are good at taking insults so here it goes :D muhahahaha: We just call you Chigga. Plain and Simple. CHIGGA! Anyways if Chinese from China are so short then why they keep importing basketball payers from China like Yao Ming. I don’t see no Chiggas playing in the NBA!!! Not one bloody Chigga is in the NBA, what a disgrace. EVen if there is no one even knows there is one. Do you chiggas know how to play basketball?! So much for bragging about being American. Hell I don’t… Read more »
Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

Wow, Chigga is a new one. I’ve heard Chigger before, which I find hilarious since I know a few.

There’s that one “chigga” who plays for the Warriors. Granted it’s the Warriors, but IN YO FACE.

And the rice rocket dudes race in drift competitions, with their hot Asian car models.

JY
Guest
JY
5 years 3 months ago

What’s funny is William Hung was born in Hong Kong. You need to get a new sense of humor :roll:

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago

What? That means not one Chigga Idol exists then….

John
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Very well articulated. Consider blogging for http://www.8asians.com !

Elijah
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I loved your post, really insightful stuff Louisa and I always enjoy conversing with you. HOWEVER, I have two points I’d like to make. 1) Canney and I use banana between us and think it’s pretty damn cute and funny. She’s not trying to leave her Asian descent or heritage behind her, how could she? But she definitely has grown accustomed to Western culture and really seems to embrace it as is her choice. I think it’s unfair and rude to judge someone for choosing one lifestyle over another when it doesn’t affect anyone else. It’s exactly the same as… Read more »
Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
Thanks for the two points. I was actually looking forward to seeing what you’d have to say. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but the way you and Canney use banana is probably the first time I’ve heard it used in a positive way. Like, most of the people I know use it derogatorily, it’s nice to hear that there are people out there who are changing the term and trying to make it more positive. Unfortunately, I don’t see the term changing in my neck of the woods anytime soon. And while I know it’s wrong to… Read more »
ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I always find the way that Americans describe themselves quite funny. Chinese-American, Italian-American, German-American. What’s the point in saying the word ‘American’ in that description? I’m from England and people never say that. I used to know a Chinese bloke and he would introduce himself as Chinese, but with a very strong London accent (’cause I’m Chinese, you caaaant’). People with Italian heritage would just say they are Italian. And for people like me, we would just say we are English because saying ‘French, Irish, German-Jewish English’ would be too much of a mouthful. So why not just say ‘I’m… Read more »
Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
Usually I do say “I’m Chinese” because I know that’s what people want to hear. And the usual “you speak English well, etc.” comments happen and I have to explain. I like messing with people’s general assumptions a lot, but after a while having to explain the SAME THING to a bajillion people starts to grate. And I’m not REALLY Chinese. Like, I can’t relate to Chinese people from China all that well because that’s not what I grew up with. But I can’t fully relate to “white” America either. I can relate to other Chinese Americans, since for the… Read more »
bomber
Guest
bomber
5 years 3 months ago
Nah, I don’t think so. America, for all its terrible faults, is the closest the world yet has to a truly universalist culture. I suppose that is a difficult thing for non-Americans to understand and many may chime in with examples of how it is racist / classist / evil / overrun with white demons, etc. And despite the bad rep it has from those who have never been there, in my experience America is on average one of the least racist places on earth. There are of course exceptions to that statement, and yes, I am aware of many… Read more »
Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago
bomber I assume that you consider yourself “American”? While I agree that the USA does have a lot of different nationalities I don’t agree that it is a universalist culture because most migrants there want to become ‘American’ and they are ready to jettison most of their home culture. There are big exceptions but essentially I even find that US citizen who have spent a fair amount of time outside the USA come to label their own country as ‘ethnocentric’ in essence this meaning that they feel the USA is the centre of the world and geographically incorrect maps must… Read more »
bomber
Guest
bomber
5 years 3 months ago
There are two points you bring up that I would like to address. First, I would like to say that since the 1960s, the socialist / internationalists that have been taking over the United States have worked very hard to balkanize the country – turning into a tossed salad as opposed to ‘melting pot.’ So the culture I refer to is part of the larger sweep of American history. Its founding documents elevate the individual to heights not since seen, and though I am not a legal expert, I am quite certain that few other countries have taken negative liberty… Read more »
Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 3 months ago
I’m sorry, but you kind of proved ‘Bored in Melbourne’s’ point about the lack of exposure within the US to truly international news. If you think the ‘Privy Council’ has any sort of power over Australia, and are our ‘masters’, as you say, then you really need to read a little more. Sorry, maybe you were only joking. But a comment like that is really quite ignorant. Just saying. And while it is true that people from all countries are fed heavily biased news, and news that focuses on domestic matters to the exclusion of important matters elsewhere, it is… Read more »
Ian G
Guest
Ian G
5 years 3 months ago

Masters? hehe I think the last time we in Australia ever pandered to any American request was with President Lyndon Baines effing Johnson (all the way with LBJ!) which gave Australia Long Tan and America My Lai.

As for hyphenates, I havent ever heard anyone here describe themselves with any punctuation… but then I never ask, I just accept them at face value.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
I agree that ever since the 60s America has been trying to move away from assimilation in favor of “multiculturalism” (which has its own problems too). While most immigrants do try to become more “American,” I’ve found that their American born kids try hard to retain some part of their ethnic heritage, leading to this “am I Chinese/Korean/Indian/Irish/whatever or American?” identity crisis that’s pretty much a huge topic in ethnic studies. While I’d like to think that America tries to be open minded, we are still quite ignorant of the outside world. My theory is that our country is pretty… Read more »
Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Louisa you might find that many places also have a limited vacation time. Australia only has 20 days per year and many people do not use them. We are becoming too dedicated to work here and in the developed world Australia is close to the top for most hours worked per week. This is a shame.

Yes I did see many other parts of the USA, Texas was only necessary for business. Actually I have probably seen more of the USA than most citizen and probably more than I have even seen of my own country.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
That is depressing how everyone’s starting to just work. Bad for health too. I guess I’m attributing the vacation time to my friend who worked in the UK; she got 21 days of vacation plus holidays. I think most people who travel to a new country see more of it than their own or the country’s own citizens. I’ve lived my entire life in Los Angeles and this weekend was the first time I went to Venice Beach. I keep thinking that since it’s relatively close by I can go anytime, but never end up going, something I hear from… Read more »
Mark
Guest
Mark
5 years 3 months ago

I get people saying “HELLO??!” at me when I walk around here all the time. It’s my right to give it back!

I never do, but I always want to. Then I realize they get it enough, and probably don’t need it from me too. I refuse to be THAT GUY. haha

Nicki
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Louisa, this post was fantastic and I related 100% to your writing more than anyone else. Thank you.

Matthew A. Sawtell
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Lousia… {pours a couple of shots} {raise of the glass} Nostrovia!

Just keep telling people, who give you sass, to kiss your Red, White, and Blue @$$ !!!

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago

Wait until 20 years later where there will be blogs of White Chinese people. White people that are born in China and have difficulty claiming they are Chinese. All because they LOOK WHITE!!!

“You Chinese? But you don’t look Chinese?”

ANd think how they feel when people go up to them saying hello and their response is “Wo bu Jiang Yingyu/I don’t speak English.” Not that shocking since there are Chinese Americans don’t speak Chinese so expect it vice versa.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

This is already happening. I met a guy in Hong Kong whose mother was Chinese and father was American. His father split when he was a kid and he could only speak Cantonese.

magbest
Member
magbest
5 years 3 months ago
Pretty good Post :smile: I feel kinda identified with this article because I was adopted by Americans while I was in my country. So, I had the opportunity to experiment both cultures.(Of course, I had more interaction with Hispanic culture). But the way my parents raised me wasn’t the way my friends in High school were raised by their own parents. Therefore, sometimes there was always some kind of conflict between which behavior was the correct one. Even though I grew up in my country I feel like I have more conducts from my parents than from my friends in… Read more »
ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I told a relative in England that I was moving to Shanghai from Hong Kong and they said ‘Have fun in Japan’.

Many people in western countries are clueless about Asian countries. Just as Asian people are clueless about western countries.

:cool:

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago

My friend once told someone he saw the Great Wall of China and the person asked if that was in Japan.

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago
Many Western people are clueless about the West too. ANd many Asians are clueless about Asia too. I once told an American that I was heading to Canada. He said cool that’s the biggest state in the USA. Some Americans are so ignorant that when they drive from the US to Canada they had no idea it switched from MPH to Km/H. Weeeeeeeeeeee 100 MPH (actually 100 Km/h) highways are awesome! Some Americans are so ignorant that if you ask this: “Germany speaks German, France speaks French, England speaks what?” They might be stuck at that question. I told some… Read more »
magbest
Member
magbest
5 years 3 months ago

@Louisa. “My friend once told someone he saw the Great Wall of China and the person asked if that was in Japan.” :shock: I just can’t believe that hahaha. I know we are not perfect and as humans we have a lot of defects, but come on.
Or maybe only we know about Chinese stuff because we like Chinese women. LOL

Mick
Guest
Mick
5 years 3 months ago

Unfortunately there’s a few Chinese Americans/Australians who exude a certain kind of snobbishness and cliqueyness about their ethnicity. I have a couple of colleagues who have never been near China but they get all mock offended if we suggest going to the pub “Oh I’m Chinese, we don’t go to bars and get drunk like you westerners.” Or when thinking of somewhere to eat. “Ewww. We don’t eat salad. Or cheese. Sorry, It’s just a Chinese thing …” But I suppose they’re no worse than those ‘Irish Americans’ who try to live up to some imagininary notion of Oirishness.

ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

oh christ I hate those Oirish yanks…. I was in New York and went to this bar and there was this guy working there going on and on about how Irish he was. He’d never been to Ireland of course. Bloody idiots.

:mrgreen:

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
There are a bunch here too (I classified them as AZN). They’re so loud about their Chinese-ness but for some reason think looking like a hip-hop star makes them more Asian. I don’t know how that works at all (plus the fact that the majority of them are super obnoxious). There’s been a recent rash of second-gen Chinese Americans who’ve made themselves “fobby” (ie. only listening to Chinese/Taiwanese/HK music, dressing like Chinese/Taiwanese/HK pop stars, hanging out almost exclusively with people actually from China/Taiwan/HK), which I also find kind of odd. And while they do go to China/Taiwan/HK once in a… Read more »
Bored in Melbourne
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Mick I have seen that a few times and the drinking show’s how truly naive they are. In my visits to Asia and especially China I have seen almost as much drunkenness as in the UK, and that is really saying something. Although except for Japan I have not seen much drunkenness of Asian females in Asia compared to the males.

pasquinada
Guest
pasquinada
5 years 3 months ago

Uh huh. Unfortunately there are just as many, if not more Chinese living in other countries yet still refer to anyone not Chinese as “waiguoren”. I’m sure there are people like Louisa, but I’ve met more than a few that considered themselves nationally Chinese even if they don’t advertise the fact.

Serenity
Member
Serenity
5 years 3 months ago

Like at my school in Europe, which hosts a lot of Chinese students. I am rarely offended, but I HATE being called a laowai in the country I was born and raised. I’ve told myself that next time I hear my countrymen being referred to as laowai, I will begin a rant in (albeit poor) Chinese.

Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
I’m guilty of calling non-Chinese people “waiguoren.” :| “Laowai” sounds weird to me and I feel awkward calling them “bairen.” My parents comment on the fact that it’s weird to call white people “waiguoren” if we live in the same country as they do. But they honestly don’t know what else to call them without having to switch to English (and when they do they call anyone non-Asian “American,” which is funny in itself). Since everyone around me understands Chinglish, I’ve started saying “white person” when I’m talking about them in Chinese, though it makes the flow of conversation a… Read more »
ziccawei
Member
5 years 3 months ago

You could call white people ‘LaoBan’.

:mrgreen:

Moroes
Guest
Moroes
5 years 3 months ago

They still call them whites Guai Los and blacks Hak Guais.

And only consider it racist if you add a sei before it. Sei Guai Lo!!!

And when mainlanders come in you specially greet them with DAI LOOK LO! HAHHAHAHAH American Chinese don’t even consider the mainladners their own kind.

Foplomat
Guest
Foplomat
5 years 3 months ago
Full disclosure: I was born in China, but came to the U.S. with my parents in 1989. I’ve been in the U.S. ever since. Agree with ziccawei re the silliness of the ‘labeling’ and hyphens; it speaks more to the insecurities of certain Asian Americans that anything else, really. Whenever I’m asked questions along the line of “where are you from?”, I usually reply, “California.” If they ask “Are you Chinese?”, I’m perfectly comfortable saying “Yup.” And, on the rare occasion I meet someone stupid enough to compliment me on my English, I’ll smile at them and say, “I’d hope… Read more »
Louisa
Guest
Louisa
5 years 3 months ago
Thanks for your comment. It’s very well thought out. I honestly don’t like labels, but since the general population likes labeling everything and everyone they see, it’s pretty much a necessary evil. So I’d rather label myself first before anyone else slaps something on me. As for the hyphen, it really is more a personal thing ever since I read that quoted article. Then again, I love grammar so it rings true to me more than the average person I think, haha. For the most part, I also say yes when people ask me if I’m Chinese. But I have… Read more »
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