Racism in TW?

From what I’ve read and understand, you are in the best shape if you are “white” and look the part.

Accepting that it will be tougher for me, what I want to know is HOW much harder? I’m east indian looking, 5’9, thin, skin on the darker side.

Will I also be singled out in general, by the “gangsters” or police or anyone else who could cause a serious problem for me? I’m not too worried about funny looks or anything, but moreso with things that can result in me getting sliced or jailed.

Any info on the subject would help.

PS. I’ll be in Taichung (Taizhong), if that makes a difference at all.

Whatever you do stay out of China town. There is a restaurant down there, Madam wongs, that specializes in skinny, dark, guy’s testicle soup!

i wouldn’t worry too much - keep your arc on you when you go out (you are coming to work legally, no?)
i don’t imagine the police will harass you too much, as most often they don’t want to sepak english, though this is changing.

as for others, if you don’t go outta your way to piss them off, they usually don’t go outta their way to piss you off. if you see 15 guys with tattoos and chewing betelnut, give them a wide berth.

good luck

I saw this same post in the teaching English forum, so I assume English teaching will be your game. You say you will be in Taichung, does that mean you already have a job lined up? There are non-white teachers here, so there are places that will take you. You seem to already expect that it will be more difficult. It is good that you expect this because it is likely true. Just on the topic of English teaching, my foreign born Chinese girlfriend had a heck of a time finding work as a Foreign English teacher. She eventually did find work, well, because she is a bilingual native English speaker and that’s just too darn useful here. Outside of work, though, for her the main pressure here is conformity. Essentially, because she looks Chinese, she is expected to behave like Chinese, even though she is thoroughly western. For you it may be somewhat different. If you are south-Asian, East Indian looking then you resemble the race of people employed as low-paid housekeepers, domestic care aids and labourers. I think the social status is implied in the jobs. These people are sometimes not treated very well as a result. The question is whether or not you will be ill treated because of your resemblence to south Asians. I know there are non-white expats here on 'umosa, I’ll leave it to them to give you a more accurate picture of what you can expect. I know this, though, the expat community here does not resemble the ethnic make-up of the society I came from. I think there is a reason for this. On the brighter side, I’m pretty sure getting sliced or jailed is unlikely.

People have a totally different racism here. They absolutely do not get the idea it IS racism, because this way of thinking is socially accepted. If you call it racism, they will say “nooooo, I am just pointing out obvious differences”.

Patterns (as far as I observed, others may have other opinion):

Chinese = clever, having the only real culture

white people = quite stupid compared to chinese, but usually regarded to be something special and sometimes treated like they treat a child (“cute and stupid and they like it”). Comments like “hairy like an ape” are often NOT meant inpolite.

black people = the “hairy and more stupid than Chinese” stereotype applies here too, but a portion of Xenophobia seems to be mixed in it. I even heard “black ghost” or such associations. I think the “special” status of white people may be gone here.

India: I once saw my taiwanese “relatives” here behaving very strange when seeing people from India. Xenophobic/unfriendly/staring

SE Asia: considered to be low class/servants. Discovered open unfriendlyness and staring like “look, there is someone from Vietnam…ajooooooo”. SE Asians are considered to be “blue collar workers” (different law). So carrying your ARC or other papers may be a good idea.

Ups, did I spoil the “friendly Taiwanese” picture? No, they are usually smiling :smiley:
… and always treat me very friendly :unamused:

FYI, In Mandarin, heigui (black ghost) is synonymous with the word “nigger”.

For what it’s worth, I’ve seen a few South Asians near my office who seemed to have some kind of technology-related employment and on several occasions I’ve seen more than a dozen South-Asians playing cricket at the park by the river. But I have no idea how they are treated in Taiwan.

Yes, it is true ignorance…usually not hateful racism, just ignorant racism, although I have heard heigui uttered by some nasty filthy old woman in my old neighborhood one otherwise beautiful morning on my way to work. Big surprise I have no interest in going back to that area.

Stay out of Sogo and Mitsokoshi and thank your lucky stars you’re not a woman. Better yet, don’t even come to Taichung, go to Taipei instead. It depends how sensitive you are :blush: :blush: and how bitter and twisted you are prone to become :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: if you find yourself experiencing a heap of systematic nastiness.

I’m going to Taichung. Why do you say to avoid it? Because there are less foreigners therefore less coloured people there?

Again, I’m not worried about being outcasted or having my food spat in, I’m just concerned about voilence or police attention needlessly coming my way for no good reason.

Again, I’m not worried about being outcasted or having my food spat in, I’m just concerned about voilence or police attention needlessly coming my way for no good reason.[/quote]

You should worry about:

Children giggling and pointing at you.
People saying heigui on rare occations.
Girls throwing themselves all over you at the Pig (A Taizhong bar).

The police is likely to treat you as other foreigners, IE ignore you unless you get into a traffic accident.

Violence against foreigners here is rare, unless you go looking for it.

By the sounds of things, Taipei City is the most relaxed about such matters. I wonder if it’s because they have experienced a greater exposure to foreigners over the years.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been here for four months, and my wife (a black girl from Michigan), has never had any problems at all. She hasn’t even felt remotely singled out. In fact she hasn’t experienced anything like she did in New York (and some places in Michigan).

She’s also working here, PA to an attorney in a patent firm, so don’t think it means you can’t get a job either.

I;m SE Asian (Indian), its ok, just stay away from the cops, read my “jaywalking” post in the HR forums.

But honestly you are not going to get singled out anymore than any other foreigner. If legally teaching english is your thing, you should not have a problem doing that…granted some places actually do want white ppl with blonde hair,even if you are white and have black or brown hair you cannot get the job they want so don’t feel you especially are being excluded.

Yes there is racism in Taiwan, but I have been all over the world, and can freely say there is racism everywhere, US, Canada, England, France, India, Taiwan, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland etc.

(In Luxemburg’s defence, I didn’t experience or see any racism in Luxemburg, but maybe it was hiding in da bushes…)

India is in south east Asia? :noway:

He may be Malaysian.

What crap! I am indian and me and my wife have had a great time here. people are extraordinarily friendly and helpful and my wife loves it here. shes even had people hug her in shops although maybe thats because she has just spent a huge amount there…

also somebody said theres racism everywhere. more crap. get a life! probably you look ugly which is why people dont treat you well but thats more due to your looks rather than anything else. or more likely you dont have much money in which case of course dont expect anything better.

Yeah those pesky poor people, lets shoot the rotten bastards eh?

[quote]Yes there is racism in Taiwan, but I have been all over the world, and can freely say there is racism everywhere, US, Canada, England, France, India, Taiwan, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland etc.

I’ve seen thinking of this ilk all over this forum, and basically I agree with it. There’s lot of things everywhere, like air pollution. Taipei has air pollution, so does Austin, and so does the cleanest mountain village in Tibet. They just have different levels of pollution. I can’t speak for many countries, as I’ve only lived in two: the US and Taiwan. I would like to venture that racism is more prevalent in Taiwan than it is in the US. (That’s the most inflammatory thing I’ve said here yet, prepares for the hailstorm).

Yes, there are plenty of racist little towns in the US that look askance at anyone not white, as there are everywhere, blah blah blah. But I venture that the locals in Taipei are more racist than the locals in Austin. Do I have scientific evidence to back this up? Not really. I could argue that the civil rights movement, affirmative action, feasible nationalization and permanent residency represent some kind of scientific proof of America’s public and legal acceptance of other peoples. But I’d rather argue as a “native” of Austin, a local (though I no longer live there). First off, it was never popular when I was growing up to usual racial slurs, or to stereotype people from other races. On the contrary, it was widely discouraged, and our teachers taught us to respect people of all races and cultures, and making fun of students because of their nationality or skin color met with swift and immediate punishment. When was the last time you heard a Congressman talk about deporting all foreigners, or dribbling racial slurs from the podium? Racism is no longer popularly accepted in America. Present, yes. Popular, no.

Now how about Taipei? How much more common is it to hear Taiwanese people insulting, making fun, or in general belittling foreigners, even right in front of you? Ever been called a hairy ape? Ever been talked to like a little child? Ever find yourself refuting idiotic stereotypes, and doing so on a daily basis Now, how about the last time you saw a child punished for pointing at you and saying “waiguoren, waiguoren!”. Or the last time anyone (child or no) was reproached for saying “heigui”, or for spouting some racist sludge. In my experience, it is more likely to see head-nodding than reproachment.

I think what I’m getting at here is that while racism is everywhere, it isn’t present in the same volumes everywhere. And yes, it’s worse in Taiwan than the US (and I imagine this goes for other Western countries as well, where racism is no longer fashionable).

PC has run amok. if people are racist they should be free to remain racist. anything else smacks of soviet style mind conditioning.

Yeah, that’s what ma boys Wallace and Thurmond and them Dixiecrats was sayin’ way back in '57, too. A man don’t want negroes and other undesirables walking into his own private establishment, he done got the right to say, “No service!” All this “civil rights” bull-sheeit just be pinko commie talk.