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View Poll Results: Which American Born Chinese Groups You Think Are More Likely To Be Connected To The Overall Chinese
American Born Cantonese 0 0%
American Born Mandarin Speakers 9 100.00%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-10-2016, 03:26 PM
 
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This is a post that I am making specifically targeted for the Chinese Americans whether born in USA or Chinese immigrants.

However, anyone else who is not Chinese can post as well.

From what I have noticed is, it seems very often there are many American Born Cantonese are the most disconnected from the overall Chinese culture than the Mandarin speaking Chinese Americans. As a matter of fact, many of the American Born Cantonese sometimes will exclude themselves from being Chinese.

Here are the following reasons I think. However, please for the Chinese Americans out there, feel free to bring your view into it.

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It is true that the Cantonese were the first Chinese immigrants to arrive into the USA and many of them have been here for generations, so it is understandable that many of them have assimilated to the American culture.

Unfortunately, during the earlier parts of the 20th century and even until the early 1980s, when immigrants of any ethnicity arrived into the USA, it was customary norm to assimilate into the American culture and language.

So, there are many old schooled American Born Cantonese that grew up in their youth periods in the mid 1950s until the early 1980s were used to that norm and therefore, a lot of them cannot speak good Cantonese and lack Mandarin skills and unfortunately, many of them encouraged their kids to assimilate into the American culture and discouraging from being with the Chinese culture.

And those attitudes from the earlier Cantonese American generations has somehow transferred to the newer generations of Cantonese Americans.
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The cultural differences between the USA and Chinese do sometimes conflict, which I totally get.

The Americans tend to be more open minded and can feel free to express yourself and be who you are, but be realistic at the same time. There are not as many strict rules for little bitty things.

The Chinese cultures tend to be more strict on wanting straight A's in school, not being allowed to be expressive and family members wanting you to be what they want instead of what you want. Also too many strict rules on mannerisms for little things.

So, I can understand why a lot of the American Born Chinese, especially the American Born Cantonese tend not to want to associate with their own cultures. But I feel they need to at least associate with the good aspects of it including at least the basic conversational level of the language and there are some good values.

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The linguistics is also a barrier as well.
Many of the American Born Cantonese grew up speaking Cantonese at home with no Mandarin. Many are are lucky if they can hold at least a basic conversation in Cantonese. However, there are some that cannot speak it at all and only understand it. Some do not know any Cantonese at all and only English. Sad!

Since Mandarin is the official Chinese language, a lot of the American Born Cantonese feel like because they do not know the official Chinese language, they feel they do not belong to the Chinese culture and rather be just Americanized. Some of them, may only go as far as just connecting with Hong Kong Cantonese culture at most thanks to popularity of Hong Kong entertainment.
Especially, a lot of the older American Born Cantonese that were growing up at a time when the Chinatowns were all Cantonese in addition to the influence of Hong Kong entertainment, many of them do not like the new influx of the Mandarin speakers arriving in and feel more superior with their cultures.
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Hong Kong Cantonese culture plays a role as well.
With the Hong Kong entertainment being so popular, Hong Kong culture has traditionally been considered the standard Cantonese culture. Many of the Cantonese immigrants watch Hong Kong entertainment and of course their children growing up will come across it at some point or another.

Now since Hong Kong was a British colony, there is a lot of European influence on the culture and often the Hong Kong dramas will show the younger Hong Kong generations acting all European style, using English terms in Cantonese conversations and even eating westernized food. Unfortunately, it does send the wrong message of European culture being better than Chinese culture and many of the younger American Born Cantonese pick up on it and since the American culture is similar to that, they feel it is okay for them to act like.
__________________________________________________ _____________________________
I feel that the Mandarin speaking American Born Chinese are somewhat more connected with the overall Chinese culture.
Do not get me wrong, there are some American Born Chinese Mandarin speaking that are super Americanized as well and not wanting to associate with Chinese culture, but you do not come across it in Mandarin speaking communities as often as in Cantonese speaking communities in the USA from what I have seen.

I think because the Mandarin speakers are mostly more recent immigrants and now with the new norm to now embrace our own original cultures and American culture together and with accessible internet and international entertainment and since they can speak the official Chinese language, they are somewhat more emotionally connected to the overall Chinese culture than the American Born Cantonese in general.

In addition, the Chinese Mandarin entertainment choices are much wider and in better quality, which is another reason why I think the Mandarin speaking American Born Chinese follow with the Chinese culture a little bit more than the American Born Cantonese.

Also, the Mandarin entertainments do not show the superiority of westernized cultures like the Hong Kong entertainment. They do have a lot westernized influence as well now, but when speaking Chinese, they do not code switch to English as often like in Hong Kong entertainment. Also, they show less eating westernized food than in Hong Kong entertainment.
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Now there are some good American Born Cantonese that do accept that Chinese culture is part of who they are even if they cannot speak Mandarin or may speak it at a limited level. But I do find it often, many other American Born Cantonese are less connected with the Chinese cultures than the Mandarin speaking American Born Chinese.


I would like to know what other American Born Chinese think and if you can put your input into this?
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Old 12-10-2016, 04:12 PM
 
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Why is it unfortunate to assimilate? Assimilation is a given for future generations.

Look at what a lack of assimilation has done to Europe and their Muslim immigrants.

I've found that the Chinese in the Bay area are far more assimilated than NYC Chinese (they've been in the US longer and tend to occupy a higher socio-economic class).
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Old 12-10-2016, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
Why is it unfortunate to assimilate? Assimilation is a given for future generations.

Look at what a lack of assimilation has done to Europe and their Muslim immigrants.

I've found that the Chinese in the Bay area are far more assimilated than NYC Chinese (they've been in the US longer and tend to occupy a higher socio-economic class).
I never said anything about assimilation being wrong. But what has happened is some people will assimilate into the American culture and then throw away their original culture entirely.

At one point, in the USA everyone was supposed to assimilate into the American culture and exclusively speak English and to forget their parents' cultures ever existed.

Nowadays, we are encouraged to embrace both our original cultures/languages our parents left for us and be American at the same time.

The people who you said "do not assimilate" are more likely the original immigrants. Although many of the immigrants will assimilate into American culture. Their children will assimilate into the American culture. Some will still retain their original cultures along with American culture, while some will erase their parent's ethnicity from themselves and be all Americanized.
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Old 12-10-2016, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
Why is it unfortunate to assimilate? Assimilation is a given for future generations.

Look at what a lack of assimilation has done to Europe and their Muslim immigrants.

I've found that the Chinese in the Bay area are far more assimilated than NYC Chinese (they've been in the US longer and tend to occupy a higher socio-economic class).
I second this notion as well. I'm an American born Cantonese and don't see what's bad with assimilation. In fact, I think it happens naturally once you live in a community full of people from different backgrounds. The only way you don't assimilate is if you choose not to do so (for those born in America). It's a little bit more difficult for immigrants... I think it's easier for them to isolate themselves from everybody else when there's a large community of them.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:01 PM
 
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Whether one assimilates has nothing to do with what dialect one speaks. It's a matter of how close knit you are in your family (more likely to keep your culture and language) and if you live away from the predominant Asian communities in the city (more likely to lose your culture & language and assimilate into Americana).

I think the more correct theory would be the earlier wave of Chinese are more likely to assimilate into American culture and lose their Chinese culture. The Mandarin and Fijianese speaking Chinese came in the 1990s-2000s. Since the Cantonese were the earlier wave of Chinese to come to America (1970-1980s), they are more likely to have had kids who have been living in America for a good while now. In order to make a decent living here, they probably went to college and are working professionals. Once they are steady in their careers, they will move out of the predominant Asian neighborhoods that their parents reared them in. They are no longer limited to living in the Chinatowns as their parents were because they are English proficient and are able to work outside the stereotypical Asian jobs (restaturants, salons, laundromats, stores, sweatshop factories, etc.) They will want to do better and move out to the suburbs where they can raise their own kids in the better school districts. So the earlier generation of Chinese who came here are more likely to assimilate into American culture and lose their Chinese culture. That's my take on it and my own experience.

Last edited by nyccs; 12-10-2016 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nyccs View Post
I think the more correct theory would be the earlier wave of Chinese are more likely to assimilate into American culture and lose their Chinese culture. The Mandarin and Fijianese speaking Chinese came in the 1990s-2000s. Since the Cantonese were the earlier wave of Chinese to come to America (1970-1980s), they are more likely to have had kids who have been living in America for a good while now.
Yup this is correct. Cantonese speakers have been here longer, there is nothing to it really.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
Yup this is correct. Cantonese speakers have been here longer, there is nothing to it really.
However, Cantonese immigration has never stopped. There is still Cantonese immigration even up until today, however they are mostly settling in Brooklyn these days. This is as far as NYC wise. I cannot speak about other American cities, as I would not know.

Even with the kids born to the Cantonese immigrants that are still recent immigrants as of today, these kids tend to disassociate from the Chinese culture more than the American Born to Mandarin speaking immigrants.

As I said in my first post, yes a lot of the earlier Cantonese immigrants that arrived here and with their kids growing up in a time during the 1970s and earlier when American born individuals were encouraged to erase their cultural history as easy as deleting a file on computer and be all Americanized. The earlier established Cantonese have brought that influence over to the newer Cantonese immigrants and their kids that are now growing up.

The kids that are born to American Born Cantonese parents, of course will be all Americanized. No discussion about it. I am not even discussing about them.

I am making comparisons between the American Born to Cantonese immigrants and American Born to Mandarin speaking immigrants. I am speaking about with still the recent arrived Cantonese immigrants and their American Born Children that are still growing up in this day and age.

I remember back in the 1990s, Manhattan's Chinatown was still mostly Cantonese, and most of them were still newer immigrants because the largest influx of Cantonese immigrants arrived more towards the late 1970s and 1980s after the open door policy established in China. I remember that many of the kids that were born to the Cantonese immigrant parents and growing up during the 1990s in Manhattan's Chinatown, a lot of them tended to act more Americanized and do not want to associate with the Chinese culture. As I also, mentioned in the last post, the Hong Kong entertainment plays a role as well as the Hong Kong culture is more westernized.

Although the Fuzhou population was already emerging in Manhattan's Chinatown back then and there was a Mandarin speaking enclave emerging in Flushing, but they were still small and underdeveloped.

Around like the late 1990s and early 2000s is when the larger influx of Fuzhou and Mandarin speaking people started to arrive into NYC. The Mandarin speakers are mostly settled in Flushing and other Queens neighborhoods. While the Fuzhous mostly settled next to the Cantonese Chinatown in Manhattan and later shifting mainly to the Sunset Park Brooklyn.

However, the American Born Chinese to Mandarin speaking immigrants and Fuzhou immigrants, whom are also largely Mandarin speaking as well are a little bit more connected to the overall Chinese cultures than the American Born to the Cantonese immigrants as I have noticed and they are not as quick to want to disassociate from the Chinese cultures as the American Born Cantonese to the Cantonese immigrant parents.

This is not to say the Mandarin speaking American Born are not Americanized like the American Born Cantonese, but they somewhat have a better emotional connection to their own Chinese cultures and are more likely to want to retain at least some aspects of it than the American Born Cantonese.

If you stroll through Manhattan's Little Fuzhou east of The Bowery, go to Flushing Queens, and Brooklyn's Sunset Park Little Fuzhou, and if you take your time to notice them, you see they somehow have a better connection to the overall Chinese cultures including their American Born Youths. You also have to maybe get to know some of them personally.

However, if you were to stroll through the Cantonese Chinatown from The Bowery to the west in Manhattan's Chinatown and visit Bensonhurst Brooklyn, which also carries a large Cantonese enclave now and many of them are recently arrived immigrants, the attitudes are a little bit different and even the American Born youths born to recently arrived Cantonese immigrants are more Americanized than the ones born the Fuzhou and Mandarin speaking immigrants.

Last edited by toby2016; 12-11-2016 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:36 PM
 
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My dad is what most people consider "Chinese American", but he's got the Cantonese culture. I'm hesitant to call myself Chinese nowadays because when I took "Chinese" class in college, it turned out that everyone's conception of Chinese was actually Mandarin. That's what our educational system recognizes, that's what they show in the media (like that "Ni Hao Kai Lan" show on Nick Jr.). So it's legitimately uncomfortable to call myself something if I know people are going to assume a host of things that are not true.

I'm much more inclined to consider myself a Cantonese American.

Last edited by Zawa241; 07-22-2017 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:03 PM
 
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Don't you think that ANY American-born people are more disconnected from their original ethnic culture, unless their parents keep them locked up at home?
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:03 PM
 
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What Chinese Culture? Most that of been destroyed during mao's cultural revolution !Ancient building, Art work, thousands of years of culture wipe out the only place you can some is in Taiwan!
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