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Q: Do Chinese immigrants in your home country act similar to mainlandes in China?

For example, if you live or have lived  in San Francisco, do the Chinese citizens there behave similar to the Mainlanders you have encountered here in China?

6 years 38 weeks ago in  General  - China

 
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For clarity, I'm writing this as a former expat currently living in Germany with my Chinese wife and 2 kids.
In my experience, no. They can be industrious, exploitative, or have serious cultural chauvinism. But most of the worst mainland behaviourisms are toned down. They know they're not in their own country.

I experienced firsthand that there is an identity crisis in the Chinese community. They divide themselves along ideological lines with regards to the perception of their Chinese identity. A lot of them don't get along with each other because of their chosen ideological position.

Some actively assimilate into the majority culture of the country. We have friends just across the border in Holland, telling us we should abandon Chinese learning for our kids, come live in Holland and learn Dutch. We have a different view about our priorities and the value of Chinese language, so suffice to say the friendship has been strained from the start.

These kind of 'assimilation'-type Chinese immigrants, for want of a better word, look down on Chinese language, culture and identity. They can scoff at people who retain their language and culture, equating it to supporting the CCP regime's wrongdoings, and being essentially a seditious foreign agent. Arguments can go from valid half-truths all the way to paranoid imaginings that even the bitterest of expats in China would distance themselves from. I get the impression I am seen as a race traitor for not being a chauvinist of my own Dutch cultural background, which they have chosen to assimilate to. But Dutch culture doesn't think highly of copycats and wannabes. Following the majority is a typical Chinese cultural trait, not common to individualist western societies. Perhaps they don't realize how little respect they command, by being willing dancing bears for Dutch cultural chauvinism.

Then on the other side of the spectrum, there's the Han chauvinists, or Cantonese chauvinists as determined by their heritage. They stick close to their own culture, they created Chinatowns in the past, and mostly keep to their own community. They also harbour extreme opinions, views about their own alleged superiority and so on. Mostly they are quiet about it, but no matter how much they avoid confrontation between reality and their wordviews, they live in a western country. Well, technically Germany is Central European, but I live close enough west to consider the region Western.

If you have an interracial family like ours, who wishes to at least keep Chinese language alive with our kids, then it's an awkward balance. We can't really be part of the assimilation group, nor fully part of the chauvinists. Thankfully, my wife is well liked when people meet her, so she has friends of all ideological backgrounds. But never super close, because of the different values.

From experience, I have heard many accountings of assimilation-types who regret their choice. Their children can't speak Chinese, or they grew up without learning the language their ethnic peers speak. It was a mistake, and it leads to identity confusion. The ones who haven't reached the conclusion yet, are struggling with denialism. What do you tell your ethnically Chinese children when their Dutch classmates make the mistake of calling them Chinese? Pull the racism card?

Overall, Dutch culture is pragmatic and business-oriented. We wouldn't throw away an opportunity for our kids to learn a world language because of some poorly-considered ideology. I choose to keep my kids' options open, so if they want to be seen as fully Dutch, or haf-and-half, they can choose their own path. Though I'd strrongly urge them to stay connected with their background. Identity confusion is not pretty.*

OTOH, although chauvinists have a safe and clear identity to feel comfort from, they are inclined to be arrogant and conceited. So although they seem happier because their static identity aligns with their values better, it's not an ideal situation to raise children in either. A belief in innate superiority over the people around you, will create an expectation in life that will lead to continual disappointment and conflict with people around you. Others are not allowed to be doing better than you if you have to be 'better' in your mind, so chauvinists will have a lot of their brainpower diverted towards internal rationalizations for the external discrepancies they see. This becomes obvious once you try having an honest conversation with them. They're often blatantly petty, closedminded and racist.

*In China, stories are disseminated of depressed, suicidal "Hapas", whose parents were often a white-worshiping mother and a racial supremacist father. They are real, but they are not rational. I spoke to one online once, and they basically declared me a racist white supremacist, REGARDLESS of my actions, how I treat my Chinese wife, or how I raise my kids. I told them how pathetic they were, wannabe racial supremacists dealing with being mixed-race, and they soon closed off their blog from outside viewing...
https://longingfordeath.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/why-do-the-alt-right-an...

Anyway, the stories of these turbulent Hapas are promoted by Chinese media, because it serves their don't-date-laowai mantra. It's sad that these unhappy kids are being taken advantage of for sinister purposes. The Chinese media that uses them, neither likes or respects them. They are a freakshow intended to disgust their audience.

ScotsAlan:

Interesting stuff Coin. I am on a foreign dads group on wechat, and we talk about this sort of stuff often. Just tonight we were talking online about Chinese tourist abroad. I think the right wing, such as Nigel Farrage dont help assimilation. And I get the stuff about identity of migrants. Yesterday I was eating and drinking with a 1st generation HK American, and a 1st generation immigrant Irish American Citizen. Interesting chat. The Irish American was totally American, The HK guy was totally American, but had more of a tie to his parents country. Hence he is here, to find out. The Irish American has no desire to visit Ireland. It was an interesting chat about identity. Your answer above is very interesting.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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coineineagh:

Hi Scots, glad to see the old regulars still around. Our little export business is set to be hit with taxes next year. I warned my wife about taxation, but it's one of those lessons you have to learn firsthand. Our family is questioning whether it's worth it to live in Germany, so we might be moving back to China in the course of next year. I was very worried about it before, but I think our kids will be more popular and have more friends in China. Just we need to be vigilant that their different-ness doesn't get to their heads. Those "hapa" tales are doing the rounds in Chinese media now - my wife learned about them independently of me, and the tales have her worried. If people start parroting to them that their parents are sick white-worshiping neonazis and they are hopeless abominations, we need to be there to deflate all the hot air.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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5 years 10 weeks ago
 
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yes and no
not the spitting 9r public deficition
and i have video evidence of queing to buy meat at spring festival time
(yeah i couldn't believe it either)
but some have the my shit don't stink attitude and will try bargin in a supermarket.(and get away with it sometimes)
you can take a Chinese out of China bot you cat China out of Chinese

Stiggs:

Yeah I'd agree with what you said.

But, the driving.....  

6 years 38 weeks ago
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philbravery:

Well thats universal indecision

6 years 38 weeks ago
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6 years 38 weeks ago
 
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Some have tried... and been arrested or fined! eg, attempting to bribe police and other officials, cheating on exams or essays at universities (resulting in expulsion and deportation), shady business practices (leading to some nasty consequences).

 

Fortunately, some who choose to go overseas do so because there are things that they don't like about the mainland, and so can be more willing to aculturate... unfortunately, not all :( (perhaps, not even many... I met a Chinese guy who said he used to study in my hometown... I said a suburb - and yep, that's where he lived! Why?? Because that's where ALL Chinese live*!)

 

*stereotype

royceH:

Mt Ommaney?

6 years 38 weeks ago
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Shining_brow:

Really? Students tend towards Sunnybank area.

6 years 38 weeks ago
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royceH:

I know.  A mate of mine lives there and was astonished a couple of years ago when a single student in his early 20s oversaw the $700,000 odd house next to his demolished to make way for another that looked the same.

The Chinese who live in Mt Omm are more the 'old money' types.

6 years 38 weeks ago
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Shining_brow:

Yeah - I should have clarified... poor students/kids go to Griffith and live in Sunnybank area. Rich or better students go to UQ and live in St Lucia. Rich families emigrate into Mt Ommaney ...

 

I'm sure most on here won't know the names - but understand the idea, and can name the environs in their hometowns (or other famous cities - isn't it called "Zhongcouver" or something similar now?)

6 years 38 weeks ago
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royceH:

At the risk of boring others...

My stepdaughter is currently living in Doolandella and attending a 'foundation year' at Griffith (in place of staying here and doing the Gaokao) with the hope of doing well enough to be accepted into UQ or QUT.  She's very diligent and is doing well thus far.

 

 

6 years 38 weeks ago
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6 years 38 weeks ago
 
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I don't know any new Chinese immigrants in my hometown but the long termers have always come across as respectful and hard working. 

 

Though in the UK the long term Chinese immigrants moved back in the 60's and 70's from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong and were quite poor to start with and had to work hard to fit in with quite a racist culture at the time. 

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6 years 38 weeks ago
 
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95% of Chinese students abroad do, in that they continue to speak only Chinese and eat noodles

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6 years 38 weeks ago
 
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they r same as here. mostly people behave as they inherintly r, wherevr they go.

icnif77:

You are the same as moron! Pretentious moron!

'Chinese descent Americans' have not much to do with China except Asian look and dofu.

 

See Taiwan and HK and you'll see 'NOT-the-same' ....

Have a read before you blabber:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Chinese_Americans_in_San_Francisco

San Francisco's Chinatown was the port of entry for early Toishanese and Zhongshanese[citation needed] Chinese immigrants from the Guangdong Province of southern China from the 1850s to the 1900s.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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Curiousdude:

read n undrstnd bfr makin' more fool of yrslf.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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icnif77:

You are Chinese dickhead who plays in English on the website where no one really speaks English. 'Bravo' to more-fool!

5 years 10 weeks ago
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Curiousdude:

resortin' to abuses instd of sane discussion on public forum shows yr mental conditn n proves me right.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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5 years 10 weeks ago
 
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For clarity, I'm writing this as a former expat currently living in Germany with my Chinese wife and 2 kids.
In my experience, no. They can be industrious, exploitative, or have serious cultural chauvinism. But most of the worst mainland behaviourisms are toned down. They know they're not in their own country.

I experienced firsthand that there is an identity crisis in the Chinese community. They divide themselves along ideological lines with regards to the perception of their Chinese identity. A lot of them don't get along with each other because of their chosen ideological position.

Some actively assimilate into the majority culture of the country. We have friends just across the border in Holland, telling us we should abandon Chinese learning for our kids, come live in Holland and learn Dutch. We have a different view about our priorities and the value of Chinese language, so suffice to say the friendship has been strained from the start.

These kind of 'assimilation'-type Chinese immigrants, for want of a better word, look down on Chinese language, culture and identity. They can scoff at people who retain their language and culture, equating it to supporting the CCP regime's wrongdoings, and being essentially a seditious foreign agent. Arguments can go from valid half-truths all the way to paranoid imaginings that even the bitterest of expats in China would distance themselves from. I get the impression I am seen as a race traitor for not being a chauvinist of my own Dutch cultural background, which they have chosen to assimilate to. But Dutch culture doesn't think highly of copycats and wannabes. Following the majority is a typical Chinese cultural trait, not common to individualist western societies. Perhaps they don't realize how little respect they command, by being willing dancing bears for Dutch cultural chauvinism.

Then on the other side of the spectrum, there's the Han chauvinists, or Cantonese chauvinists as determined by their heritage. They stick close to their own culture, they created Chinatowns in the past, and mostly keep to their own community. They also harbour extreme opinions, views about their own alleged superiority and so on. Mostly they are quiet about it, but no matter how much they avoid confrontation between reality and their wordviews, they live in a western country. Well, technically Germany is Central European, but I live close enough west to consider the region Western.

If you have an interracial family like ours, who wishes to at least keep Chinese language alive with our kids, then it's an awkward balance. We can't really be part of the assimilation group, nor fully part of the chauvinists. Thankfully, my wife is well liked when people meet her, so she has friends of all ideological backgrounds. But never super close, because of the different values.

From experience, I have heard many accountings of assimilation-types who regret their choice. Their children can't speak Chinese, or they grew up without learning the language their ethnic peers speak. It was a mistake, and it leads to identity confusion. The ones who haven't reached the conclusion yet, are struggling with denialism. What do you tell your ethnically Chinese children when their Dutch classmates make the mistake of calling them Chinese? Pull the racism card?

Overall, Dutch culture is pragmatic and business-oriented. We wouldn't throw away an opportunity for our kids to learn a world language because of some poorly-considered ideology. I choose to keep my kids' options open, so if they want to be seen as fully Dutch, or haf-and-half, they can choose their own path. Though I'd strrongly urge them to stay connected with their background. Identity confusion is not pretty.*

OTOH, although chauvinists have a safe and clear identity to feel comfort from, they are inclined to be arrogant and conceited. So although they seem happier because their static identity aligns with their values better, it's not an ideal situation to raise children in either. A belief in innate superiority over the people around you, will create an expectation in life that will lead to continual disappointment and conflict with people around you. Others are not allowed to be doing better than you if you have to be 'better' in your mind, so chauvinists will have a lot of their brainpower diverted towards internal rationalizations for the external discrepancies they see. This becomes obvious once you try having an honest conversation with them. They're often blatantly petty, closedminded and racist.

*In China, stories are disseminated of depressed, suicidal "Hapas", whose parents were often a white-worshiping mother and a racial supremacist father. They are real, but they are not rational. I spoke to one online once, and they basically declared me a racist white supremacist, REGARDLESS of my actions, how I treat my Chinese wife, or how I raise my kids. I told them how pathetic they were, wannabe racial supremacists dealing with being mixed-race, and they soon closed off their blog from outside viewing...
https://longingfordeath.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/why-do-the-alt-right-an...

Anyway, the stories of these turbulent Hapas are promoted by Chinese media, because it serves their don't-date-laowai mantra. It's sad that these unhappy kids are being taken advantage of for sinister purposes. The Chinese media that uses them, neither likes or respects them. They are a freakshow intended to disgust their audience.

ScotsAlan:

Interesting stuff Coin. I am on a foreign dads group on wechat, and we talk about this sort of stuff often. Just tonight we were talking online about Chinese tourist abroad. I think the right wing, such as Nigel Farrage dont help assimilation. And I get the stuff about identity of migrants. Yesterday I was eating and drinking with a 1st generation HK American, and a 1st generation immigrant Irish American Citizen. Interesting chat. The Irish American was totally American, The HK guy was totally American, but had more of a tie to his parents country. Hence he is here, to find out. The Irish American has no desire to visit Ireland. It was an interesting chat about identity. Your answer above is very interesting.

5 years 10 weeks ago
Report Abuse

coineineagh:

Hi Scots, glad to see the old regulars still around. Our little export business is set to be hit with taxes next year. I warned my wife about taxation, but it's one of those lessons you have to learn firsthand. Our family is questioning whether it's worth it to live in Germany, so we might be moving back to China in the course of next year. I was very worried about it before, but I think our kids will be more popular and have more friends in China. Just we need to be vigilant that their different-ness doesn't get to their heads. Those "hapa" tales are doing the rounds in Chinese media now - my wife learned about them independently of me, and the tales have her worried. If people start parroting to them that their parents are sick white-worshiping neonazis and they are hopeless abominations, we need to be there to deflate all the hot air.

5 years 10 weeks ago
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5 years 10 weeks ago
 
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Yes, they do.  How many expats who moved to China act like Chinese people?

icnif77:

I didn't ... spit everywhere, smoked in the elevators, jumped into the queues and other similar Chinese traditional BS.

 

However, I kept eating with the quaize in my home to this day ... All my Europeans are still amazed how I can handle that.  

At least, they've finally realized I am a genius-ly ... 

 

I also kept Chinese traditional road crossing ... 

 

Get often fined for that here in EU, but sheer convenience of the act ... is unbeatable.

51 weeks 1 day ago
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Stiggs:

I still take my shoes off before going into the house, wearing them inside just seems wrong now.

51 weeks 1 day ago
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icnif77:

Now? I've never entered my house with shoes on ... not in EU or in USA and not even in my home in China ...

I am a flip-flop guy in my home, usually with the socks on. It feels so Japanese ...

 

What is the reason you put on the shoes when you exit the house ...?  

... I know ...

51 weeks 1 day ago
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51 weeks 2 days ago
 
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A:https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/permanent-residence-permit.htm https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/10-years.htm LT Chinese visa for Chinese descent foreigners:https://www.bal.com/bal-news/new-5-year-visa-and-residence-permits-now-available-for-foreigners-of-chinese-descent/ https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/information.htm https://www.hrone.com/blog/residence-permit-foreigners-china/ https://www.ivisa.com/china-blog/10-year-china-visa-for-a-us-citizen You could also ask for the detailed explanation of LT visas at your Embassy in China. -- icnif77