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A letter to my beloved Chinese fellows
Two days ago, a friend sent me a video asking me what I thought.
The video was about an “American loser” (the original word used in the video) who came to China, slept with 200 Chinese girls, and then proudly posted it on Instagram. He also carried out an experiment in the video. In 40 minutes, three girls took the initiative to talk to him.
I am afraid this topic is not new. I have seen similar news before, but it didn’t really feel like it was real, only the kind of thing you see on the news. This was until my friends began telling me one true story after another. For example:
A foreign guy who doesn’t know how to talk to girls at all and has never had any sexual experience came to China and slept with 9 girls in 6 days, and magically more girls came to him for sex by making a conversation, adding WeChat, and going to his dorm to “visit”.
In another example: Two girls talked to a foreign man at a bar. After knowing that the man was gay, they still proposed to go for a threesome.
Image via www.fromthesquare.org
It’s been a while since I’ve watched this video, and my mood has calmed down after the initial shock so that I can now try to think about it from multiple perspectives.
As a Chinese person, my first reaction should be anger. I feel that the person in the video flaunted his “great achievements” as a show of merit. The perpetrator materializes women by treating them as an object or experience to be enjoyed and then discarded.
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Despite the offense of the man in the video, it seems that each person in the video has no original sin, but instead are young people acting the way young people do. When I think twice, however, I am still very disturbed by the extremely offensive act of showing off in such a situation. I’m not sure who to blame.
In addition to disrespect for women, is it worth thinking about our very different attitudes towards foreigners? Did the girls in the video go after the guy because of his American identity?
Image via www.reachimmigration.com
Wouldn’t it be better for all of us Chinese people to be more open, tolerant and more international to treat all foreigners just as a normal person who only looks different from us? Surely this would be better than idealizing some foreigners.
I am a Chinese language teacher. Since 2016, I have been studying in this major, and I have come across all kinds of people from all over the world. In addition, I have also lived as a “foreigner” in Thailand and a faraway and unique country named Trinidad and Tobago, each for one year. These four or five years of cross-cultural experiences help me to gradually understand the world and China.
Port of Spain – the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. Image via www.worldatlas.com
During this time, I heard so many voices and ideas in China about foreigners which are misunderstood:
“Foreigners are rich.”
“Foreigners must be very good at English.”
“Foreigners are very sexually open.”
“Foreigners like parties.”
“Blacks are too lazy.”
“Blacks have HIV.”
“All the blacks are African.”
Chinese people always use the term “laowai” or “waiguoren”, however that refers to the people in 200 countries and regions except for China. Two hundred countries and regions which represent; four races; more than 5,000 different languages and personalities; and billions of individuals.
So, when you use the concept of “foreigner” in general, what about the voices from other foreigners?
How many times have I seen recruitment advertisements that request, “white and blonde”? How many times have I heard that foreigners and Chinese get “different paid for equal work”? How many bars or nightclubs promotions saying free entry fees and drinks to foreigners? Even when we encounter the same problem and make the same request, my foreign friends receive more friendship and patience from Chinese people than I do.
Therefore, for other foreigners, why does it turn to an opposite attitude? Why are they referred to as “ghosts” or “monkeys”? Why do people inappropriately pull their hair and ask if it is real? Why do people warn their relatives and friends to stay away from this race rather than an individual? The scariest thing I have ever heard is that in the movie theater, someone took out the perfume and sprayed it on a guy for no reason.
I feel extremely ashamed.
I think we are still not ready to welcome all different kinds of people. We just look at their country, their skin color, the shape of their nose and the color of their eyes, and their extremely exotic hairstyles, but we have not seen them as a person.
Image via economictimes.indiatimes.com
They seemed cold and proud and untouchable. But what we may not know is that it would also be their first time to come to such a different country. Some of them may feel scared when taking a train alone. Some of them may be anxious when ordering food in a restaurant in Chinese. They may also feel embarrassed and insecure when they couldn’t speak a second language so well. They are just like you and me.
In fact, if you try to understand them, you will find that they are just normal people like us. They are thousands of miles away from home and wandering in life. The bitterness and loneliness you ever had when you were away from home, they also have the same feelings.
They just look different.
They are just different looking people from us.
We agree to our disagreements.
When I lived in Trinidad and Tobago before, their country was also called “Rainbow Country”. Except for the immigrants of these decades, most of them have mixed backgrounds. A friend of mine also said that what she likes about this country is that you can always see people of all kinds.
I hope someday
Everyone can go to the store
Without being observed more closely
I hope someday
Everyone can look at everyone more peacefully and calmly
Everyone is judged only by the brightness or flaws that come from within
Not where they are from
I hope someday
I am walking with my foreign friends
No one would consider me as their tour guide anymore
Or being asked to take a photo for them with foreigners
I hope someday
Everyone can be happier
Enjoying the snow in the Forbidden City
And the night in The Bund
This is what I think of as freedom.
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