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Old 06-14-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: NYC
90 posts, read 177,582 times
Reputation: 46

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From personal experience studying abroad it is hard to believe that a Chinese from any city cannot tell the difference between a non-Chinese Asian and a Chinese.

Anyway Chinese people can be racist (though to be fair you will also find racism in other East Asia societies). There is racism that stems from nationalism (against the Japanese), racism that stems from ignorance (against darker skinned) and racism against other regions in China (frankly I found this to be quite hilarious, most popular example: Shanghai girls = gold diggers). But the vast majority of people you will fine to be quite pleasant. In many ways it is about perspective. If you are visiting the country looking for faults you will find them. If you are looking to have a pleasant experience you will find that as well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,068 posts, read 1,467,637 times
Reputation: 2341
Quote:
Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
Shouldn't they be able to understand most non-Chinese asians can't speak Chinese language? Especially the Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolians, etc.
I said upon first glance they expect all Asians to be Chinese, which is understandable. Other Asian languages can be heard in the biggest cities so if you speak another Asian language it'll probably be more acceptable to them than to see an Asian speaking only English. They just can't believe there are Asians out there that speak English as a first and only language. That's one reason I say they are extremely ignorant and nave. There are many other examples I can come up with too, that's just one example.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,845,380 times
Reputation: 796
Quote:
Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
Shouldn't they be able to understand most non-Chinese asians can't speak Chinese language? Especially the Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolians, etc.
No... They assume you can speak Chinese. They even think a white person can speak Chinese.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,068 posts, read 1,467,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
No... They assume you can speak Chinese. They even think a white person can speak Chinese.
Yes they assume all Asian looking people can speak Chinese but you're wrong about them thinking whites can speak Chinese. Their default thinking is that all non-Asians will speak English but cannot speak Chinese. I've seen this in person. They always greet and try to talk in English first and then if the foreigner speaks Chinese back they will then speak Chinese to the foreigner. And sometimes even if the foreigner speaks Chinese, the Chinese person will still try to speak English to them.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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They expect that everyone can READ Chinese. They know, from experience, that there are so many Chinese dialects, that people who cannot understand the spoken language locally can all read Chinese. Often, if you do not understand them, they will take out a ballpoint pen and write it on their hand and show it to you, as they would if they spoke Mandarin, and met a traveler who could only speak Cantonese (which is quite common). It might help if you get up in the morning and write "Hello" on your hand, and show it to people who write Chinese for you. They will at least admire your sense of humor, and that will break the ice.

A couple decades ago, when foreign travelers were quite rare off the beaten track, I often had people writing things down for me. They assumed I was Chinese from another part of China (All Chinese do not look Chinese). There are so many languages in China, that there is writing in six or seven different alphabets on Chinese money.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,376,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeCPA View Post
Never mind about customs, it's just a few minute process. They just look at your passport and wave you through. Sometimes you don't even have to talk. Everything's about skin color in China, even if people know I'm an American, I'm also Asian (though not Chinese) and they expect me to speak Chinese upon first glance. When I speak English they look at me like I'm an alien or something. Sometimes they can't even believe an American can be of Asian descent. That's the ignorance of China for you.
In big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, nobody cares. There are tens of thousands Japanese and Koreans and they don't speak Chinese.

You are an alien, a non-resident alien in China. 99% Asian faces speak Chinese in China, why should average people always assume the 1%? They don't even care about if you are American or Canadian. Everyone in Beijing/Shanghai minds their own business, very few people are interested in your heritage and birthplace at all.

If you want everyone you meet in China to fully understand your nationality and heritage, then it's your problem.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,845,380 times
Reputation: 796
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeCPA View Post
Yes they assume all Asian looking people can speak Chinese but you're wrong about them thinking whites can speak Chinese. Their default thinking is that all non-Asians will speak English but cannot speak Chinese. I've seen this in person. They always greet and try to talk in English first and then if the foreigner speaks Chinese back they will then speak Chinese to the foreigner. And sometimes even if the foreigner speaks Chinese, the Chinese person will still try to speak English to them.
They always assume my husband who is Portuguese can speak Chinese even if he answers back in English.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,144,182 times
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How to act while in China...

Well, when you spit, you should do a loud glottoral 'pulling up a lot phlem' sound...and than just rip it up when you hack it out, without looking as to where you spit it sailing out.

I can't imagine how you could act any more mainland Chinese than that....another skill you'll have to work on is trying to be as inconsiderate as possible. For example, if you sit on a bus, you should yell loudly into your cellphone, and cough as hard as possible on to the neck of the person in front of you.

Also, if you go into a bookstore, and you are lucky enough to see a nearly empty aisle with only one person in it...you should immediately go behind that one person, grab a book over their shoulder, and stand as close as you can to them, while browsing through your own book. What you should never do however, is acknowledge that you have any awareness whatsoever that the other person is actually there.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,845,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
How to act while in China...

Well, when you spit, you should do a loud glottoral 'pulling up a lot phlem' sound...and than just rip it up when you hack it out, without looking as to where you spit it sailing out.

I can't imagine how you could act any more mainland Chinese than that....another skill you'll have to work on is trying to be as inconsiderate as possible. For example, if you sit on a bus, you should yell loudly into your cellphone, and cough as hard as possible on to the neck of the person in front of you.

Also, if you go into a bookstore, and you are lucky enough to see a nearly empty aisle with only one person in it...you should immediately go behind that one person, grab a book over their shoulder, and stand as close as you can to them, while browsing through your own book. What you should never do however, is acknowledge that you have any awareness whatsoever that the other person is actually there.
I couldn't agree more with you !
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
Reputation: 36087
The correlative, on a Chinese web forum about visiting the USA:

Social contact: People will seem very friendly, but they really resent you coming to America and not paying any taxes, and using free facilities that have been paid for with tax money stolen from them, even though there isn't anything free anymore. Americans wear yellow happy-face buttons that say have a nice day, but what they really mean is "give me money", so they can buy "the next big thing" that was made by your friends back home. If an American tries to engage you in a friendly conversation, you can be sure that their purpose is to persuade you to come with them to their church on Sunday morning. Just show no interest in Christianity and they will then completely leave you alone and not bother you anymore. If they see you again later, they will turn their back or walk on the other side of the street.

Strangers: If you think someone is saying something friendly to you in the street, they are actually talking to somebody else on an invisible device implanted in their hoodie. Do not make the mistake of smiling back or speaking to them, they will report you as a stalker, because they are all very sexually insecure and fearful. In any case, you cannot talk to a stranger until you wait for them to take out their earbud, and even then, they will not hear you because their hearing is permanently damaged from decades of high-volume otic trauma. Similarly, do not make any eye contact with an American in a supermarket or shopping mall, it makes them feel very uncomfortable. If they notice you, they will curl up the lip into a fake smile that lasts exactly one second, and then look away. This is a conditioned reflex, which is not to be taken as having any social meaning.

Hygeine: Be sure to put on all freshly-laundered clothing every morning. Americans will consider you "dirty" if you do not smell like dryer towels and/or some dreadful spray-on or roll-on scent, and their homes are shielded from all odors except Glade plug-ins. This is extremely important, Americans are transfixed with a hysterical phobia about personal odors. Never blow cigarette smoke in the face of a stranger after sitting down uninvited at their table in a restaurant.

Safety: Remember that one percent of the adult male population of the USA is in prison right now, and about half the boys who are non-white will be in jail at some time in their lives. Very, very few of them have had a courtroom trial. You must always consider the very high risk that you will be one of them. If by chance you are driving a car, your few remaining constitutional rights are then null and void. Keep in mind that most Americans own handguns, many are carrying one concealed as you encounter them, and the reason they do is to shoot to kill any human being of whom they are suspicious, which is permitted by law in most states. And as an alien who does not understand the language or customs, you are considered suspicious by definition

Last edited by jtur88; 06-15-2013 at 09:50 AM..
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