Is there something about our BBC nature, aside from friends and family, that we tend not to acknowledge other ethnic Chinese in public due our self-interested attitudes?
Publicly acknowledging another Chinese stranger, is a way of validating that person's presence, and in the UK, where Chinese are a minority, sharing an ethnic commonality.
Is there something about being British AND Chinese that makes us behave doubly self-interested and uninterested in each other? Is it regional - Northern BBC's vs Southern BBC's? Or Hong Konger vs Mainlander?
Here's a quote from an anonymous BBC commenter:
'Why can't we embrace our identity as British Chinese in the sphere, unalienated by gendered construct and ESTABLISH ourselves as a great part of the community? Why do we attack our women when we also need to pursue objectives that can benefit our men? We want every British Chinese to have the same opportunities. We want our community to be respected. Before we can BE RESPECTED, we have to RESPECT each other and choices EACH people make. But in DOING So we need to ask British Chinese to BREAK DOWN THEIR own stereotypes about each other.Nice idealism, but as far as I can see, unless Chinese in the UK can actually see connection within each other first, those idealisms will remain just that.
What you guys need to do is say to Chinese women: stop stereotyping against your men. What you also need to say is: love who you love: regardless of colour. You also need to say to them is: your body is your own. but remember you are also represneting others. your responsibility exceeds just that.
What you need to say to Chinese men AND women:
GO and BE the change you want to see. If your heart is IN the traditional career roles, that's ok. but if you wanna be something else.. do it. be brave. we support you.'
Indeed from what I have seen, ethnic Chinese strangers in the UK do little to acknowledge each other in public, and in a largely white-dominated public, these over-emphasised values, have gotten in the way of choosing practical over cultural, family over social , self over collective.
Here are some common examples of FOB self-interested attitudes are taken to the extreme in our UK Chinese identity:
Good news - likes to be shared with friends
Bad news - keep to ourselves
Racism- deal with it on our own way, when it happens to others, not interested
British Chinese community, not interested in what others think, only how we, as individuals, benefit.
When something bad happens to another Chinese, turn the other way.
Even on this blog, accusations thrown at the two contributors for being pro-China extremists, like ' Who are you people? Why do you hide behind anonymous names?' And yet, when those same people are invited to contribute an article, let alone accept an invitation to meet up in person, there is no reciprocation and they vanish into the ether.
That some readers who have been with us for some time now, remain anonymous, but refuse to sign up with a google ID to show a sense of online solidarity, and when asked to meet up, say they will, but in the end, don't, makes me wonder about our BBC/British Chinese nature of relating to other Chinese in general.
Is it our inherent passive aggressive nature?
That as ethnic Chinese we don't want to acknowledge needing help but often need help, or want to support an opinion but it's often in the form of criticism.
That whenever someone offers a practical solution we ignore it because we don't think it's realistic.
Or is it the lack of trust amongst Chinese?
As another commenter says:
'Chinese are not adverse to screwing people over. Over on the forum there was a post about concert tickets where the buyer charged her FRIENDS 250% mark up on the face value. Menu/sign printing companies for pissy jobs charge way over the odds compared to English companies. I was being quoted £900 when the English co nearby gave me a £140 price. Same with Chinese speciality insurance companies, guess who I go to?'
On a recent article I attempted to help out a fellow BBC by offering her advice towards dealing with some local racists. However in the course of that conversation, when I casually mentioned that 'FOBS can slate you for not speaking much Cantonese' I was immediately questioned as to whether I was a 'self-hating BBC'
Before, I had little idea what being a BBC meant, because like a lot of us, we don't really take time to examine our identity or rather, in typical Chinese practicality just ignore the politics and..get on with it.
If an extreme self-interested attitude is part of our parent's nature, does it work when it comes to developing a British Born Chinese social identity? And if we are too lazy or scared to question such attitudes in discovering the way we relate to each other as British Chinese, doesn't that make British Born Chinese a social identity in extreme denial?