Originally posted by ABCguy24:
This cultural view of regarding ethnicity as the same as nationality is very european as well.
Interesting; I’d actually be interested in hearing about such experiences in other countries. Although I’d probably have to think you’d want to say more ‘Eastern European’ than just ‘European’… I have not been to Europe, but I have many friends from Western Europe (mostly the UK), and from what it sounds, they understand the difference between nationality and culture.
I would guess Eastern Europe and Russia is similar to Taiwan in that they haven’t had the opportunity to understand this distinction. I’m not saying these places are inferior or backwards at all; its just they’ve been fairly homogenous societies for hundreds of years (I’m not getting into ‘native Taiwanese’ versus aborginal Taiwanese versus…), and only recently have they had any reason to differentiate the two.
I usually try to discuss with my friends how I see this whole issue. I feel a person has three aspects to them: Race, Nationality and Culture.
Race would be one’s physcial makeup, their genetics, where their ancestors hail from.
Nationality would be what nation they belong to; generally where one grows up, but certainly not necessarily. Asian/African/European/whatever immigrants who hold US passports and are making a life in the US is just as American as I am.
Culture would be a combination of the above two, to different levels. (I’ll continue to use the US as an example.) For example, many ABCs who grew up in the US speak Chinese, go to temples to pray, watch Chinese movies, listen to Chinese music, etc… I’d say this person’s culture is a good (I’d even be bold to say healthy) mix of ‘US’ and Asian culture (assuming they also understand at least a fair amount about “mainstream” US culture). Many ABCs don’t speak a word of Chinese, don’t understand the culture at all, and (unfortunately in my opinion) may even resent it. In that case, I’d say that are not -culturally- Chinese at all. Obviously the issue of culture could become even more complex if one moves quite a bit.
That’s how I look at it. I’d imagine their might be flaws in this theory/thinking, and could probably use some improvement, but that’s what I’m working off of right now.
On an amusing side note, I was walking past California Fitness on ZhongXiao E. Rd, and an ABC or CBC with his girlfriend walked by me and said -in English-…“Why are there so many whiteys around?” Suffice it to say I was pretty pissed off (and secretly amused he’d be so stupid to say something JUST after he walked by me - which his girlfriend obviously though as well.). My buddy said I should have replied with something like “Why are there so many bananas around here?” in Chinese (sometimes my reactions just aren’t quick enough). I wouldn’t normally say something so rude, but maybe he’d get my point about lack of respect in the use of one’s language. Although there’s a possibility he might not understand Chinese.
I’m not saying this because I think Chinese or ABC or blah blah blah Don’t preach to me about ‘getting what I deserve’ because I’m white; I almost got into a serious fight with some dumb@ss white foreigner for saying something to his buddy about ‘chinks.’
I don’t care who you are; if you don’t have a basic sense of respect for others, you’re a pissant.