Monday, 30 January 2012

Why British Born Chinese Shouldn't Be Expected To Speak Chinese

- Do all British Africans speak African?
- Do all British Pakistanis speak Pakistani?

You dont hear of British Born Pakistanis or British Born Africans do you?

Establishing your native language is an important part of  defining your cultural identity - look at the following video clip found on youtube - courtesy of BBCzeitgeist member and blogger BBCRonin.

 BBCronins original link can be viewed here:


The above capture which I stole from BBCronin's site which is basically a capture from the comments section of the video with youtube usernames deleted -  as you can see - plenty of racist comments made about the  show presenter, Kai who is a BBC - and the perception that its odd for him to be a native English speaker- why do you think that is?

Has anyone thought that by having our own media exposure - even without expressing the complexities of our own cause- that the most necessary cause is to express the fact that English is our native language?

Can anyone imagine what it's like to be thought of as not being able to speak English despite it being your native language and live in the UK and have to go to local shops and be assumed that you cant speak English wherever you go and only to have to live there for years to 'earn respect of the locals' through familiarity, until one day the neighbourhood changes and you have to justify yourself all over again to those new people who have just moved in despite having you having lived there for over 10 years? Embarassing much?

Despite our British Chinese media image being made invisible by HAPAS and our Chinese in Britain status over-emphasized and orientalised by FOBS who cannot help but speak bad English, if we want to be seen as 'regular British natives', then we have to make an EFFORT to portray our image as just that.

Let's face it 'British Chinese' identity is a loose generalised apolitical term for 'Chinese living in Britain' .

Do FOBS honestly even consider themselves British Chinese? Or just Chinese?

If we have British Chinese FOBS who cant speak English and HAPAs are happy to be 'East Asian' - a deliberately loose terminology that has been adopted to replace the only slightly worse term 'Oriental' but still does little for the British Chinese identity...

 The only way forward is for British Born Chinese to empower ourselves to make our name distinguishable from the other British Chinese, recognisable and not one that is apologetic to FOBS, HAPAS or anyone else, but one that is clear and concise, with more meaning than 'Chinese in Britain'


Some of you may be reading this and ticked the following boxes:

- speak Chinese language and English language
- embrace my Chinese culture
- havent interbreeded and my children if i have any are full Chinese.

But creating culture unfortunately isnt the same as reproducing and  dumping the responsibility onto your future BBC child who could end up being a well spoken accountant .To break the stereotypes that have bombarded for ages, we have to start now.
PS: BBCRonin if you are reading this, please get back to me so I can get full permission for using your capture, your blog doesnt have an email address to contact you, thanks