Opinion

Our identity becomes blurred

One World, One Dream

Created on
Day
50/100
Reading Time
6 mins
Word Count
1.5k approx.

I am inspired by a lot of people on the Fediverse. In spite of my slow reading, recently I discovered some nice pieces from a blogger. For the very first time, I share what I personally think of the Americans or people from the West in general. I’m being very honest here. If anyone is reading, I wish you could understand the message I’m trying to convey. I did try hard to make this post slightly more depth. If you’re not feeling it, well, I guess I failed.

Please be aware.

This is a reply to a post An American Adjective written by m;bluelander. I read quite a few blog posts from m;bluelander so this reply might got a bit mixed up. I tried to be sarcastic and use a more casual tone. So, don’t take it too seriously. But I write everything that comes from my mind without filtering. If anyone thinks I’m being blunt, or impolite, or simply want me to shut up, please let me know. I always prefer direct honesty.

The reason for writing this reply is because I like people poking fun at their own country or people with humour. I did something similar a while ago. I believe even if you’re from a country full of patriotic people, you don’t necessarily have to agree with them all the time. I always find myself not aligning with their values or opinions on pretty much everything. Thing is, you can’t pick where you’re from and moving aboard is just not an option. What else to do but to make some jokes at our expense? There is no malice, just don’t take it too seriously. In this post, I talk about what I think of America as a foreigner. I also want to bring the message out. So, here’s how I reply to m;bluelander.

A little disclaimer, I’ve never been to the US. I wrote a post about visiting South America though. But of course, no one cares. Got that. In short, what I think of the Americans can be simplified as—patriotic but with a sense of humour. I’m trying not to judge, but here’s what I truly feel. Let’s do this.

The United States are the representative of the entire world. Most superheroes are either born or raised in the US. Look at The Avengers, Superman and Transformers. Thanks to them, they save us from alien invasion every single time. Not only do they represent the entire human species as a spokesman but it seems to me America is the one and only nation that exists on this planet Earth. In fact, America is at the very centre of the Milky Way and in the vast universe. They have all the power to defend us with help from Marvel Universe. A little caveat here, if you’re outside of the States or you’re not a US citizen, good luck on that.

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up watching US movies. Who didn’t? When I was young I watched movies on a local TV English channel called Pearl. Most of them were action film, to name a few, my favourites are Face/Off (1997), Leon: The Professional (1994), The Fifth Element (1997) and Die Hard (1988). I watched them multiple times over the years. Stars like Nicolas Cage, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey got me interested in films from Hollywood. I still watch films and love—maybe addicted—them today. I almost witness the entire career of Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, I watched most of their films.

Aside from movies, all the Big Tech companies are from the United States. They collect personal data and profile you for the FBI or some shit. And people paid them for being tracked. Who knows what SkyNet might do to people? They invented The Terminator after all. People from countries other than America, you gotta watch out for yourself. Maybe in the eyes of a Westerner point of view, people in China are being spied on everyday. So, you might want to ask me to stop pointing fingers at Americans. You’re probably right. But please hold on.

To be frank, I thought “Yankee” has something to do with baseball. I really have no idea it’s an “epithet” at all. To digress from the subject a bit, Americans assume pretty much everyone should be able to speak their language. People are considered as dumb, just because they can’t speak proper English. However, they somehow can only speak one. Guess who’s smarter, huh?

Back to the subject, during the first phase of the pandemic, I can barely sense the “hatred” towards Asian around here. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. I think that’s for the better. I tend to believe people are equal, no matter where you’re from, what languages are speaking, or your race or skin colours or your pronouns or your status or your political views. All of those things are irrelevant. We are all humans. So, if one day someone tries to humiliate Chinese or Asian people. I will simply reply: “Nuke them Chinkies, they are all communists and spreading diseases. Go die already.” Full stop. We Asian have quite some nicknames for foreigners as well. You’re a 鬼佬(Guilo), a Yank, or a Nigger and I’m a Chink. Just how old are you? Nine? We’re all the same. I guess we’re even.

Joking aside, I’m trying to get the message expressed here. Please bear with me a bit longer. I hope I can reach there.

I’m living and was born in a seems to be a more Western-styled city for the past thirty-something years since nineteen-eighty-five. The year of Ox. A while ago when I was taking the metro, I encountered people from different nations speaking their own languages. I heard different people speaking Korean, Japanese, French, English, a language I didn’t recognize and of course, Cantonese and Mandarin in the same fucking train car. That kind of reflected it was quite a multicultural city. You might have guessed it, it’s Hong Kong.

Finally, I’m getting close to the topic. Before 1997, Hong Kong was one of the many colonies of the British. The British Empire conquered the world and bring its cultural or political or whatever influences on people. All hail the Queen. I was technically born before the HK handover. On 1 July 2022, we’re celebrating—more like mourning—the 25th anniversary of our returning back to be part of China—the Celestial Empire. Despite the cultural differences, our society shared some similarities with the West. This also brings forth the question, what is our identity?

Amongst the “younger” generation, who probably grew up from the ’80s and ’90s, they don’t want to admit they’re Chinese. Many of them want to disassociate with anything related to China or the Chinese. We call ourselves “HongKonger”, something like “NYer”. They want to be “independent”. Hence, one of the reasons the “2019 Hong Kong protests” happened. I agree with them in someway, but not entirely. Apparently, I’m a Chinese. That’s a fact that I just can’t deny. If anyone asked, I’m a HKer and a Chinese. That’s that.

Here’s the point I’m trying to get at. If an Asian is born and grows up in the US. The person shared the same language, food, music, fashion, values, culture, political views, and everything else to Americans. In spite of their “root” of Chinese descent, they rap against the police and the government like Eminem. Do they count as American? They can legally have the right to vote for the next President of the United States. It seems to me that our identity becomes blurred.

I don’t like people being too patriotic. They’re too easy to trigger and become hostile when discussing the topic. Yes, I’m talking about the Chinese. Not everything has to do with race. The world isn’t revolving around you or the country you belonged. And yes, I’m also talking about the Americans. I just want a discussion, and maybe get ourselves to agree on some things. If we don’t, it won’t make us enemies. I tend to believe people will understand that.

I’ve written two posts about gun violence and war. That was also my opinion on the US and the UK in general. Guns and war. Too heavy for such a topic. But it’s very real to me.

No matter what you think, I just want to tell you we’re all living in the same world. I’m so broke to be able to travel. I wish to know more about people around the world. That’s why we’re on the Fediverse. We don’t need conclusion, but discussion. So, we blogged. Wouldn’t you agree?

One World, One Dream.

This is #Day50 of #100DaysToOffload.

Footnotes

  1. Do you notice what I did there? I’m using British English “Centre”. You’ll understand why if you carry on reading. ↩︎
  2. It’s a French film. At the time, I thought every movie that speaks English are from Hollywood. ↩︎
  3. In my opinion, Nic Cage is a good actor. I’m still waiting for him to make his “come back”. ↩︎
  4. I almost couldn’t resist calling the metro Underground. ↩︎
  5. I don’t like our government advertising Hong Kong as “international” city. Brand HK ↩︎
  6. I wrote a post about it a while ago. Typhoon and treasures of the Forbidden City ↩︎