article earlier this year, that criticised the meaning of a high achieving British Chinese, this blog received flack for criticising those high achievers, as if the definition of a high achieving British Born Chinese is someone who can gain as much mainstream acceptance as possible in their career.
However where does 'mainstream acceptance' end and begin for British Chinese community?
In the above photo, Mr Woon Wing Yip, was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the East Asian food industry.
As quoted here from Dimsum in an interview with Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary and head of the Home Civil Service at the time
"The honours system is an important way of recognising the outstanding contributions made by dedicated people from across the country, who have gone the extra mile to make a real difference to lives of people around them."
To be fair to Sir Wing Yip, in an interview here , as he humbly says he wasnt really aware of why he was given the O.B.E... but would it have been too much to reject it? Or was it accepted for the purpose of 'business relations'?
Either way, being that Sir Wing Yip is probably our most famous and successful British Chinese, has this accolade set the standard for other British Chinese to follow suit?
British Chinese Theatre
In The Guardian earlier this year, whilst many BBC's at the time were in agreement with British Born Chinese theatrical actress Elizabeth Chan's complaints about Anti-Chinese racism in the UK, what most readers seemed to have missed, was the context of the argument- blaming racism for the lack of roles for ethnic Chinese in U.K. theatre.
This indeed maybe an issue for British Chinese actors, but on a wider level, is theatre really a suitable offering for British Chinese who don't even really have a culture of our own, in the first place?
In this radio interview with the Director, Tim Luscombe, whose play which tackles 'Formula One racing and Chinese political oppression' is about a British racing driver who wants to take part in last race in Shanghai. He meets a Chinese journalist who introduces him to his sister, and whose other sister is waiting for execution for treason- who stole some papers from a Chinese government official and gets shot in the back of the head.
From Mr Luscombe's CV we can see a quote from a Guardian review
'he is one of few British Dramatists to confront the fact that China for all its embrace of a market economy, remains an oppressive militaristic dictatorship'
The play is set in China just at the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Here this British playwrite director, whose main interest it seems is to inform his white middle-class audience about the need for China to improve it's human rights, clearly has had his play authorised thanks to an arguably sinophobic UK media.
However, that being understandable for white mainstream audiences, why would any British Chinese want to take part in this? Is this another example of ethnic UK Chinese having no culture of our own therefore participating in small plays like this that arguably mock China is okay as long as out of work British Chinese actors get 'acceptance'?
British Chinese Actor Hopefuls
In the trendy makeover that British Elitist culture is undergoing, it is now reaching out to ethnic minorities, and, British Chinese are now invited.
Yes 'Unheard Voices - whats your story' is the most recent chance for British Born Chinese playwrites get to sharing their experiences with British Theatre
Innocent lambs ready to be slaughtered on the theatrical stage of British Elitism
We already know of China's efforts to be on 'equal footing with British elitists', we are also aware of being excluded from mainstream musicals such as JUMP , and yet when it comes to TAKEAWAY the musical, the British Chinese community doesnt put up much of a fight when it comes to how we are seen in British arts, indeed we will jump any opportunity to be accepted, caring little of the final result, as long as individuals, we feel that our ethnic Chinese face has been accepted by mainstream UK media.
If British Chinese so desperately want mainstream acceptance in Britain, shouldn't we at least demand more options other than being validated by white elitist culture in order to be accepted as members of British society?