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  1. #18
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    Values ?

    I think values of people in China, HK, Taiwan, Japan and Korea

    are different from others overseas, even if there may be a coomon language etc.

  2. #19
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    The original problem is, why do some say people of ethnic chinese origin are not chinese if they have grown up in another country?

    Pecheur's point of the grade of 'chineseness' is cultural and attitude. Can you be 40% chinese? How to assess?

    Why is there the term "Hua qiu"?
    The "hua" comes from "zhong hua" meaning chinese. So you can be called chinese and overseas chinese, yet when you are physically in China, then these same people say you are not chinese!! Doesn't that seem strange?


    "also, many are foreign born but don't give a damn about the Chinese, the only thing "Chinese" about these people is their skin color. do we call them Chinese?"

    Even some of these people don't regard themselves as chinese since they don't think chinese. But they are not the same ethnic origin as the country they where born in either. So what are they? I think they should be called chinese....but of another country's nationality....

    Here's a funny story to illustrate the dillema:
    Although born outside of China(HK), I have no English name. My name is romanised in spelling. I have chinese characters for my name. So one HK (chinese) person at work says to me "you are not chinese". I say "I have no English name, yet you use an English name. Maybe you are not chinese as well. Both of us cannot speak PuTongHua."
    His reply "no, no, I am chinese because I have a chinese education"

    (Can you see the irony? He claims to have a chinese education but cannot speak the national language. Isn't that a bit strange? BTW, this is not an uncommon situation for many HKer's...many have never looked at the situation from this point of view)

    So I say, "There are many illiterate people in China without an education. By your definition, all these people are not Chinese!"

    After some thought...
    Reply "you have to be born in China"

    I say "My wife has chinese name, speaks cantonese, Putonghua fluently, reads and writes chinese, has chinese education but born in M'sia. So has chinese education better than many HK people...she not chinese?"


    This time, enlightment is suddenly starting to bear on my work colleague. For any definition, there can be found very common exceptions.
    Attitude is only cultural sense. A caucasian can be very 'chinese' but not a chinese person.
    Education has nothing to do with being chinese.
    Birthplace only defines your nationality!


    Funnily enough, something interesting about chinese descendents of migrants many generations ago is their chopstick skills. They usually are far more adept at using chopsticks than any ethnic group. That seems to be one chinese skill that is never lost going down the generations!!

  3. #20
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    Originally posted by Adel


    What constitutes being Chinese? Frankly, I don't know and I won't give a definite answer.

    My nationality and race are both very important to me. As such, I don't see myself as a 3rd-generation immigrant from China but a citizen of another country
    Adel, what is your race? You said it was very important to you.
    Are far as I can make out, there is no such thing as a "S'porean race". If there is can you explain

    I wonder what other S'poreans think on this matter.

  4. #21
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    i was going to push the "definition" side of the argument, but then i suddenly realize that there is a better way to do it.

    to be "Chinese", one need to first be ethnically Chinese, it is not going to be too convincing when a white guy comes to us and trying to tell us that he is Chinese. but i think all of us will agree with that.

    given that premise, i really think whether one is Chinese or not does not depend on any definition or whether someone tells you are or are not. given that you are ethnically Chinese, whether you are really Chinese or not depends on nobody but yourself. if you believe that you are Chinese, that alone is sufficient to tell the whole world that you are.

  5. #22
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    side issue regarding China's FOOTBALL world cup prospects.

    i don't think they will make it to another one.

    Top two teams being Sth KOREA and Japan. And as yet, there are only two berths for Asian con fed. So keep ur china flag for badminton coz in the football arena, they have a long journey ahead of them.

    Sings are a race with their own distinctive language aka SINGLISH .... refer to www.talkingcock.com for more elaborated and humourous editorials.

    This is truly a very hard topic to come to a conclusion on, very much subjective.

    as i think more about this topic it bring to my attention that to be CHINESE, it does not matter if you know how to master the chopsticks or educated in the language. It comes to a matter or values and TRADITIONs.

    If you are well versed in the TRADITIONS of the chinese culture, celebrating CNY, following the lunar calander and its associated events (ie when its time to pay respect to the dead, moon cake fest, etc) that would be one of my yard stick of a general assessement.

    so in saying that, i must be only 50% chinese coz i don't follow every event on the lunar calender

    after being 13yrs in australia, i still consider malaysia my home, being my birthplace and my youthful playground as well. Aust is just the place where i reside and earn a living, a very subjective analysis indeed.

    Kwun is right, it matters not wht others think, because self-belief is all that you need.

  6. #23
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    I'd like to clarify that Chinese from Msians are very Chinese indeed.

    Since the last 20 years some 90 % of children attend at least 6 years of Chinese

    education and are schooled in the classics like 'Romance of 3 kingdoms" etc.


    It is getting so that the younger generation can no longer communicate in English.

    That's why you never get Msian badminton players on Internet, they only know

    Chinese and Malay, their English is equal to those in China or Taiwan.

    Anyway in Msia it is very common for Indians to speak Chinese and practise Chinese

    culture, no one ever questions their ethnicity. Msian Chinese are in general very

    tolerant and accomodating people, they have to, as they live in a hostile environment.

  7. #24
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    Cheung: My race is Chinese and my nationality Singaporean. That's why in Korean class, I always refer to myself as "Choong-guk yin" and (that's how you read Zhong1 guo2 ren2) instead of "Singapore yin" coz I assume we are talking abt race here and like you very rightly said, there isn't a Singaporean race. Of course, no-one understands why I do that and I dun usually bother to explain unless they ask.

    Of course, "choong-guk" comes from "Zhong1 guo2" so when put this way, it sounds like I come from China. In Chinese and other Asian languages with a huge Chinese influence, you define the nationality of a person by adding the character "ren2" read in a variety of ways (meaning person) to his/her country of origin. This is similar to what we know in English: Germans, French and Italians are assumed to come from Germany, France and Italy respectively. Of course, with the huge wave of immigration that has been occurring throughout the world, this is less applicable. A lot of my American-born Asian friends refer to themselves as Korean-American or Chinese-American, which denotes both their race and nationality. I would assume that these days, calling yourself a Chinese would mean that you are of Chinese race rather than simply from the country China. Probably the term hua2 ren2 or hua2 qiao2 is a lot less confusing since it denotes your Chinese-ness without necessarily implying that you come from China.

    Singaporeans... I wld say tt how they feel is influenced, by a huge extent, to their upbringing. Like I mentioned, my parents were both Chinese language majors and I speak more Mandarin than English at home. At the same time, there are also kids born to ethnic Chinese parents who received a predominantly English education and are not as well-versed in their mother tongue. In Singapore today, all our lessons are conducted in English with the exception of mother tongue (or 3rd language classes). During my parents' time however, there were the Chinese-educated and the English-educated. All lessons except English are conducted in Mandarin for the former and vice-versa for the latter. As such, the so-called English-educated may be less likely to use Mandarin at home and (there are exceptions to every case but as a general rule), their kids also tend to be more English in their outlook ie. they watch English movies, listen to English songs, never speak Mandarin except during Chinese lessons etc. Some of them tend to care less for traditional Chinese festivals like Chinese NY. Other more extreme ones despise the fact that they are Chinese and would prefer to be American, Japanese or Korean depending on the latest fad to hit our country.

    There is also a common phenomenon in Singapore which I never noticed until leaving for the States. Apparently how a lot of kids see themselves also depends on the schools they come from. There are some traditionally "English" schools, producing students who excel in English but almost always fail in Chinese. Some of these students tend to care little for the Chinese language and in some extreme cases, for their heritage. Ronald Susilo's Alma Mater, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), is one such example and if there are any AC guys on this forum, I apologize for any offense caused.

    I think I mentioned that not speaking Chinese (putonghua or its many variations) doesn't necessarily equate to not being Chinese. But from personal experience, those Singaporeans that are not as well-versed in Chinese tend to feel less Chinese as well. They would refer to themselves as Singaporeans (and ignore the race bit) but I would think that discussing what constitutes a Singaporean does not fall within the parameters of this topic.

    Originally posted by Cheung



    Adel, what is your race? You said it was very important to you.
    Are far as I can make out, there is no such thing as a "S'porean race". If there is can you explain

    I wonder what other S'poreans think on this matter.

  8. #25
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    Originally posted by Cheung
    The original problem is, why do some say people of ethnic chinese origin are not chinese if they have grown up in another country?
    ...
    I've been reading all the posts with interest but don't really have an opinion.

    Some people consider your nationality based on ethnicity others on your birthplace. As an example, Macau before the handover to China, there were a lot of discussions between Portugal and China about the nationality. To the Portuguese, you're a Portuguese if you were born in a Portuguese territory; to the Chinese it did not matter where you were born, what defines your nationatity is your ancestry. Even the countries top experts/academics could not come to an agreement.

    This can be transfered to the common citizen. Most of us don't think too much in detail about it. How many can describe the reasons behind each festivity/tradition? How many know the country's history?

    Probably this is a too simple way to answer your question? To some one is Chinese only if you were born in China and to others, as long as you have there is Chinese blood in your veins and keep the traditions alive. But most of all like someone mentioned, if how you honestly feel. To me this is what really matters. By the way, I don't use chopsticks when eating but I can use them 'properly' - even able to pick up marbles, abalone with it.

  9. #26
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    Good thread.

    I am an overseas Chinese. Growing up, there was no question about whether I was Chinese or not even though I don't go to Chinese school (English-educated school). Do I think in Chinese? Sometimes but mostly in English but I do follow Chinese movies, occassionally Chinese songs too. Can't read or write Chinese other than the simpler stuff (like my name) or am I fluent in Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin).

    Living in Canada, I am considered Chinese (since I do have an accent) but the pure Chinese (i.e. folks born and raised in HK, China, Taiwan) probably consider me a banana since communications are done mainly in English.

    Bottom line, I think I am along the same line as Adel in that I consider myself to be Chinese (or of Chinese descent) but my nationality is Canadian (enjoy ice hockey as much as the Canadian white guy).

  10. #27
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    Default If you think you are, you are.

    I know this topic has plagued every Chinese that is born outside of China(HK, Taiwan etc.). I was born in HK but immigrated to Toronto when I was young. I speak fluent Cantonese but can only read limited number of Chinese characters. Yes, I attended Chinese school on Saturdays. Helped me read and write but was lost since I barely get to use Chinese on a daily basis except talk to my family. I love the Chinese dramas on TVB, cantonpop, Chinese food( I hate caucasian food, I rarely go to fast food joints but never even set foot in the Keg's and Red Lobster's). Like other posters here have stated, do you think in Chinese? Yes and No. Does that make me less a Chinese? No. I still love hockey and the Canadian culture. It all comes down to whether or not one has Chinese values and traditions in my opinion. I live in HK at the present time. Haven't lived here since I left for T.O.(no choice) Question to fellow Hong Kong based BCer's. Does Hong Kong citizens feel they are Chinese? From the people I met they seem confused themselves. What's your thoughts.

  11. #28
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    So if everybody considers themselves of chinese descent, then they are chinese...right?

    Wether they feel chinese culturally or otherwise is immaterial......just like our hypothesized caucasian growing up in China.

  12. #29
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    Default Re: If you think you are, you are.

    Originally posted by Chu Pa
    Question to fellow Hong Kong based BCer's. Does Hong Kong citizens feel they are Chinese? From the people I met they seem confused themselves. What's your thoughts.
    I get the feeling HKer's are feeling more & more affiliated to China. But, they were already chinese from the beginning even when the British were around. They would be ridiculed not to say they were Chinese.

  13. #30
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    I grew up in Taiwan and came to the US on my tenth birthday so that's about half my life in Taiwan and half here. I can still speak mandarin and read characters fairly fluently but my writing ability is almost non-existence. Most people I know think I am ABC just because I have no accent. Another thing that kind of irritates me a little is that when someone ask me where I am from, I'd respond Taiwan and they will say something like "oh, so you are Japanese right? Isn't Taiwan an island of Japan?"

  14. #31
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    Originally posted by jwu
    Another thing that kind of irritates me a little is that when someone ask me where I am from, I'd respond Taiwan and they will say something like "oh, so you are Japanese right? Isn't Taiwan an island of Japan?"

    hahahahhaha... I see ur point.

    Hope this won't bring up such a huge "political" debate here.

  15. #32
    Regular Member Bbn's Avatar
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    A lot of younger Non-Taiwanese are not aware

    that taiwan was part of Japan for a few decades

    and that local culture has a strong Japanese influence,

    and many older Taiwanese still bear Japanese names.

    Is that what is irritating or embarassing?

  16. #33
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    Exclamation

    errr.. might not want to start anything on the forum..

  17. #34
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    Originally posted by Bbn
    A lot of younger Non-Taiwanese are not aware

    that taiwan was part of Japan for a few decades

    and that local culture has a strong Japanese influence,

    and many older Taiwanese still bear Japanese names.

    Is that what is irritating or embarassing?
    I've heard this before. Some friends from TW told me that their grand parents only can speak taiwanese and Japanese.

    To me, it's not irritating or embarassing... It's just part of history.

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