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Asia

What do Chinese Americans think about China and Chinese students in America nowadays?

I am neither ABC/CBC or a ‘FOB’ as the term ABCs refer to Asians from Asia. I straddle both cultures. I was born in China, but raised in Canada. And I grew up in a small city in the Canadian countryside, not like Toronto or Vancouver or anything. I was only one of two Asian students in my high school. For a long time, I thought I was the same as white people.
Then I went to the University of Toronto which was and still is, full of Asians both Canadian born and FOBs. While I was in the CS program, it was mostly skewed towards the Canadian born Chinese side. We had some Koreans and Japanese but overall we had more Chinese which makes sense because there’s more Chinese in existence than Koreans or Japanese which means there’s more Chinese Canadians as well.
The first thing I noticed is, even though it felt more ‘comfortable’ being with someone of the same race, at the same time it felt ‘uncomfortable’ too, because in my experience, Asian Canadians or Asian Americans had the same personality as Caucasian Canadians or Americans. They had the same sense of aggressiveness, were generally pretty outgoing, and joked around a lot. That was something I felt very uncomfortable with since I was more shy, reserved and felt that I didn’t fit in *quite* as well as I thought.
So then I met some FOB friends from mainland China, who I started to hang out with more. I thought that they were quite different than my Chinese Canadian friends, but again some differences arose and I still didn’t feel very ‘comfortable’.
The main problem was that mainland Chinese i.e FOBs seemed to be very close minded. They had too much pride in their country. They refused to listen to any criticisms I had about China or any positive things about other Asian countries. They refused to mingle with Koreans or Japanese while my Chinese Canadian friends were all open minded to do so. Plus, they cared a little bit too much about their material wealth, making money and studying in my opinion. There’s other things to life but they didn’t seem to be very open to entertaining them.
So I felt like a fish out of water. Neither comfortable with Chinese Canadians or mainland Chinese. What can I do? When I moved to the USA, I had the pleasure of befriending Koreans. Previously, my extent of contact with Koreans (since fobby Chinese never hung out with fobby Koreans), was at church since Koreans were for some reason, strangely fanatical about Christianity. And they seemed to be nice people. But as I befriended new Korean friends, I got more interested in Korean culture than Chinese culture.
Even though I had studied Chinese, and travelled to China before, and met lots of nice Chinese people I didn’t feel the same ‘connection’ with them like I felt with Koreans. After I visited Korea, I realized that it was the place I wanted to be. And I did. I quit my job, and I moved to Korea. For 2 years, it was the most interesting period of my life. I think before I moved there, I didn’t realize just how different Korean culture was from Chinese culture. I think most ABCs or CBCs grow up thinking Asians are Asians, but we aren’t. Every Asian is so different, actually. It’s hard to realize this amongst Asian Americans because Korean American and Chinese American personality and culture is not so different, but man is it different from mainland Chinese and Koreans or ‘FOB’ Chinese and ‘FOB’ Koreans. That’s why they don’t hang out with each other.
For one thing, Koreans had the most unity out of all Asians. They just stuck together and supported each other. In China, it was everyone for themselves. Also, the traditional gender roles and Confucian values were alive and well in Korea whereas they had all but vanished from modern China. Bowing, being respectful, etc were still a thing in Korea. It was so safe you could leave your phone on a table for hours and no one would take it. I know China is safe too – relatively – but you definitely would not be able to do that in China without getting your phone stolen. And dare I say it – it was a little cleaner than China now. In China you can be as direct and blunt as you want and it’s normal. And my god were Korean women beautiful. I couldn’t believe how different it was. In mainland China there was beautiful women too, but they were a little hard to come by. Shanghai had the most, but even there you had to walk around a little bit to see a beautiful girl. In contrast, Seoul had gorgeous women everywhere. Any cafe, bar, on the street, etc and they were all wearing makeup! and dressed like they were going clubbing! China by contrast people dressed way more casually and usually girls didn’t wear any makeup. When Koreans marry, the husband and wife have their separate roles, whereas in China, the wife and husband share duties equally. Korea was full of housewives whereas in China housewives are all but nonexistent. In China the guy was almost like a slave to his gf – always buying everything, paying for everything, carrying all her shopping bags – and seeing a guy get hit in public by his gf wasn’t that uncommon. In Korea, the guy usually pays too but not for everything – and I’ve never seen a Korean guy hold shopping bags for his gf or getting hit by his gf you will never see that there. It was like a night and day difference.
So yeah, I think in the end, I fit better in Korean culture than either Chinese or Chinese Canadian culture, but I think there’s pros and cons to everything. Some of my best friends are still mainland ‘fobby’ Chinese. They aren’t all close minded. But I think for the majority that I came across in university they did seem to be a little more ignorant and some of them straight up refused to use any foreign websites sticking to Chinese websites only. Hey umm there’s no Great Firewall here you don’t need to only use Chinese websites… not to mention the fact that there seems to be crazy rumors spread about Koreans on Chinese websites most of which have no inkling of truth at all… I’m not sure why Chinese people would say about Koreans whom they’ve never met except perhaps they are jealous that Koreans have a better entertainment industry than they do? Also, never speak to mainland FOBs about Taiwan. You will almost always end up arguing.

Categories
Asia

How come Korean girls don’t date Chinese guys?

This is a question I have wondered about for a long time. It would seem to be a perfect pairing on paper.

Chinese guys get a girl who is not as strong as Chinese girls are (generally), do more for them around the house, give gifts or pay for things in return, do not expect a dowry when marrying, and are generally more feminine and care more about their appearance as well. In addition, there’s no historical baggage or issues like there would be if it was a Japanese girl.

Korean girls get a guy who arguably does as much as or more for them than Korean guys will, plus will do housework, cooking and taking care of the baby as well (a lot of Korean guys do not do this). Also, its arguable they dont have as much pressure to dress up or do makeup or look perfect all the time with Chinese guys compared to Korean guys.

But in practice while I was living in Korea, I noticed very few Korean girls with Chinese men (granted, it could be hard to tell these couples apart from a typical Korean couple), and even the Korean girls I met who had studied in China before as exchange students and met me to practice their Chinese, surprisingly did not date any Chinese guys in China (they still dated their Korean bfs long distance, or remained single).

So why is this? Why do Korean women stick to Korean guys or even prefer to date white men over Chinese men?

I think I finally narrowed it down to a few reasons, after asking many Korean girls this question over the years (me being of Chinese ethnicity myself, have a horse in the race so to speak):

  1. Korean women prefer to date men who can share their language and culture. This in fact is the reason why most races date their own race – but its especially true for Korean women because of how conservative their society is. Koreans in general are not known to be the type to really take risks or ‘be different’ as their society rewards a conformist way of thinking. Simply put, Korean women date Korean men because they are the most comfortable for them, they can communicate better with them, they don’t like to try new things, they want to be like every other Korean, and/or their parents are very conservative and don’t like them to date outside their race.
  2. Korean women don’t have an opportunity to know how Chinese men are like. They do know how Korean men are like. Plus the influence of Kdramas and Kpop really do help Korean men out a lot. Chinese men have no such entertainment vehicle to promote themselves. The CCP is focused on their domestic economy and are not interested to spread their culture to foreigners like Koreans do. That plus the whole censorship thing means that Chinese dramas + movies + music will likely never be popular in Korea the same way Korean music/movies/dramas are popular worldwide, and in China. This means however sweet and caring Chinese men are in reality, Korean women and other women have no idea. Instead, they have the idea that Korean men are like that because of all the dramas and such. Soft power really makes a difference here.
  3. Chinese men like to stick to their race. Ask any Chinese guy who are the prettiest girls and they will likely say Chinese girls. They won’t say Korean girls. This is because Chinese people are fiercely nationalistic and prefer their own race, but also because just like how Korean men are hyped up in Korean media, Chinese women are hyped up in Chinese media – Chinese women are promoted in their own country the same way Korean men are promoted in their country. In addition – they have the mistaken notion that all Korean women did plastic surgery (which is false, as I have explained in my previous answers many times). What you have as a result is a curious reversal of states here: Korean women and Chinese men, while on paper being the perfect fit for each other, instead remain loyal to their race, while Korean men and Chinese women – not so much. Korean men are in general just intrigued by any girl who is pretty, Korean or not. And Chinese women are lured by those Korean dramas/hype that promote Korean men, as well as men who have more money obviously. Of course on paper Korean men and Chinese women seem like the relationship will not work out very well as they are both ‘strong’ types but in reality there are more Korean men-Chinese women relationships than Korean women-Chinese men relationships, as baffling as that sounds.

But Tong, if 1) and 2) are true, why do I see a lot of Korean women marrying Western guys (i.e white men)?
This is exactly related to 1) and 2) actually.
1) Korean women who want to buck the conformist trend or don’t like the traditional Korean culture see white men as the exact opposite of Korean culture – they think Chinese men are still somewhat Confucian and a ‘halfway point’ between Korean men and Western men – why go halfway when you can go all the way to a culture thats totally different from Korean culture?
And 2) white men are heavily promoted by Hollywood and American pop music – again, media influence / soft power matters and white men have generally been the recipient of a very powerful media presence, the American media, which spreads globally. That’s why white men can generally get any girl, anywhere – America, Europe, Asia, etc without any issues.

Of course this is all my theory on why I don’t see more Chinese men – Korean girl couples even though it makes more sense for these two to be together, why in reality, we don’t actually see this being the case.
However, I will note that the few times I have seen Korean girls date Chinese men – they are usually Taiwanese or Hong Kongers. The reason for this I would assume, is that Taiwanese guys and Hong Kong guys can speak english better than mainland Chinese guys can – and they are not as fiercely nationalistic as mainland Chinese guys are either. Also, they have a generally better ‘image’ in Korea than mainlanders do (which is caused by the bad Chinese tourist stereotype).

 

Categories
Asia

Because of the stress on face in Chinese culture, is it more important to be well-dressed in China than in the West?

China is a country of many ironies, I find. They are socially liberal (gays and lesbians are not as accepted as in Taiwan, but more accepted than in Japan/Korea, and women are allowed to be masculine without much consequence), yet they are very conservative when it comes to displaying sexual things (Korea/Japan show more sex in their media than China does by far).

And here’s another irony: it’s not as important to look as good, as its more important as owning something expensive. That’s weird right? Chinese fashion lags far behind Korean/Japanese fashion, yet Chinese people spend way more on their clothing and accessories. “Face” which is one of the strangest cultural customs to me, applies for showing off your wealth and status only, but somehow not as much to appearance. My Chinese friends bought hundreds of dollars worth of Korean makeup back to China – but they never use it. I asked them why and they said it’s more important just to have it and show it off than to use it, which didn’t make sense to me.

Why your appearance does not determine your status in at least some part, I have no idea. Quite strange indeed. On the other hand, Korea/Japan focus a lot on appearance, not so much on showing off your wealth. Some Korean girls I met had done plastic surgery many times and had a supermodel like figure, yet I would find out that she was actually dirt poor. She had put all of her savings into her appearance.