Categories
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 do you deal with the identity crisis, ironically, as an ABC who can speak Chinese?



I’m a first generation immigrant who immigrated to Canada at a young age and still retain my Chinese ability. The identity struggle is real. But it depends on the person.

Most of my CBC/ABC friends would identify as Canadian/American first and foremost and as do I. How long you spent in China before you immigrated abroad makes a big difference too. Most of my Chinese friends who immigrated high school age or later identify more with China than with Canada.

I’m more of a special exception because even though I think of myself Canadian my personality traits still trended Asian. So I travel Asia often and found South Korea to be the place that fits me the best. After traveling mainland China I just couldn’t accept the culture differences, part of the reason being that Chinese tend to be more anti-West than Koreans are.

My brother was born in Canada and is fully Canadian, gets along well with Canadians and fits well in Canada which is good for him.

So for everyone is different. I think the place you grow up in tends to be the place you identify with for most people.



Categories
Politics

What are some American practices that Canadians find odd?

  1. Using dollar bills all made of the same color and using old material (cotton). Why not upgrade the bills to make it more fraud proof like Canada did?
  2. Not using the Metric system. God do I hate Fahrenheit especially. Impossible to tell how cold or warm it is.
  3. Love of guns.. why Americans love their guns… its part of their culture. But as a Canadian i still dont get why having a gun is necessary in everyday life
  4. Using a Jury system. We dont have jury duty in Canada. We appoint judges. Having a jury makes it much more likely for the defendant to get away with a lot cases out of sympathy.
  5. Similar to point above Americans sue alot!! Theres like a lawsuit going on all the time it seems. And it can be for the smallest of reasons.
  6. Universal healthcare is considered a “socialist” policy in the US which means its “bad”. Americans have been trained to equate anything “socialist” with venezuela/communism it seems.
  7. Americans HATE taxes. Tax cuts tax cuts all the time. How many Americans would drop dead if they knew our top tax rate kicked in at only $130k and we had a national sales tax?
  8. Pronouncing “Z” “zee” while we pronounce it “zed”. I guess zee is easier to ryhme with in the alphabet song?
  9. Calling my name out at restaurants. Uhh in Canada they just call your number and you get your food. Why do Americans insist on asking my name? Not only could my name be something complicated but what if two people had the same name and same order? What now brown cow??
  10. Age limit of 21 for drinking. Especially odd considering by that age you can already own a gun and drive.