#51 6-24-2017 6:50 AM

shavy
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

It is indeed frustated for some Asian who lives abroad. In my opinion there's no cure for it, ignore is the best way. 

If you answer just make things worse, or they called you unfriendly. Believe me I've encounter dozen times during my trips in Europe. In USA I never had any problem, in Europe I have a lot of remarks and can be stressful sometimes, so is not an easy job. So stops saying what to do nothing works that way

 

#52 6-24-2017 8:47 AM

stefmuts
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

shavy wrote:

It is indeed frustated for some Asian who lives abroad. In my opinion there's no cure for it, ignore is the best way.

I can imagine the frustration and I can also imagine there's sometimes no ignoring it although as you say thats probably the best way!

 

#53 6-24-2017 12:28 PM

grandmar
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

shavy wrote:

It is indeed frustated for some Asian who lives abroad. In my opinion there's no cure for it, ignore is the best way. 

If you answer just make things worse, or they called you unfriendly. Believe me I've encounter dozen times during my trips in Europe. In USA I never had any problem, in Europe I have a lot of remarks and can be stressful sometimes, so is not an easy job. So stops saying what to do nothing works that way

There are worse things than being called unfriendly.  Sometimes being seen as unfriendly is a good thing (especially when you are female and the prospective overfriendly person is male).

Possibly in the US there is more diversity in the general population, so someone different doesn't cause as much comment.

But if you were referring to my answer, I was answering the previous post  which said

emjaaay2 wrote:

I honestly haven't found the best way to troubleshoot.

 

#54 6-25-2017 12:37 PM

neo_dare_devil
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

melissawong wrote:

One of the most irritating things during my solo travels is when people just assume that I'm Chinese or they tried to say "Ni hao" in a really bad accent. I find them really ignorant to assume that all Asians are from China and live in China. If I say no, they will usually go on and guess if I'm Korean or Japanese. When they learned that I'm not from any of these countries, I will tell them I'm from Malaysia which they have absolutely no clue about.

I know this post sounds a bit racist but the problem here is some locals are ignorant and rude. Do you have similar experiences and how do you deal with them?

I' am sorry to hear  that you  feel  that way. Your feelings  are subjective and if you feel offended being mistaken as  a Chinese person no one should chastise you about it. Language barrier  and  ignorance are often the source of conflict while travelling. The words and gestures  that people  use  in conversation  can be  interpreted  in so many ways. Moreover , physical attributes are what  all people  always  see first. So if  your features are closely  comparable  to Asian people like  your complexion, body structure , eyes  and hair colour mostly likely those people who weren't exposed  to other Asian culture and nationalities would  draw conclusion  that  you are Chinese.

I have  my fair share of always  being mistaken from Latin/Hispanic/South America  and The Pacific Islands  and would  always have  to explain that my Heritage is Filipino. It is more often tedious for me to explain rather  than to ignore  but confronting them  is also  my  way  to educate  people about my self and my culture. I love  to travel  and  if I visit  foreign countries I would  make  sure  that I know  some  phrases and words  from  their language because learning things about the people and their culture and  what  the majority  of  people's  perception  of  foreigners  would help me to be  culturally sensitive on my response.

During my most recent travel , I joined  a walking tour  and were mostly  approached  by Spanish  speaking  tourists and I find  the experience very  fun except  for the fact that  I can't converse  to them  but  I welcome  the idea that they intend to start  a conversation. There were also two older English ladies that approached  and asked me about my nationality  and I told them that I am Canadian and Filipino. The other lady asked me where I was born and I said in "Manila".  The lady without any hesitation said , " is that  where kids are on the streets picking up rubbish?". I asked  her politely with sarcasm  if  she was trying to mock my heritage  and she just walked away. From my own point of view,  her action clearly showed what her intension was. I did not bother  to argue but even educated people could elicit  such uneducated  behaviour. Moral of the story ?, everyone should travel more to expose  different culture  to other culture  so they would also be educated about you.

Last edited by neo_dare_devil (6-30-2017 7:46 PM)

 

#55 6-25-2017 2:47 PM

shavy
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

neo_dare_devil wrote:

The other lady asked me where I was born and I said in "Manila".  The lady without any hesitation said , " is that  where kids are on the streets picking up rubbish?".

Oh sorry to hear your experience, that's very rude. I haven't encounter such a conversation yet. That is what I called stupid people! it looks so down on you.

Last edited by shavy (6-25-2017 2:50 PM)

 

#56 6-25-2017 6:26 PM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

By the way, I felt there were mainly two different situations are hidden in various posts.
One is strangers greeting you saying "nihao" in friendly attitude and simply mistaking you for different nationality, another is generalizing and looking down upon Asian people and jeering with saying "ni hao ching chong" kind of things.

I would totally ignore the latter. I wouldn't deal with such people who are jeering me without any reason but for I am a Japanese. They are totally ignorant and childish and I don't want to get any troubles with them. I would just walk by without looking at them and ignore them. I understand the frustration as I also have the same experience sometimes.

I don't understand the reason why you get offended if you're mistaken for some other nationality even the person who talked to you were in friendly attitude and polite enough. I don't really get upset by it at all as it's difficult to tell Chinese from Japanese for them as it's difficult to tell Belgian from Dutch for me. I totally understand that.
If I was offended by it, I would be the one who is a racist. There won't be any nationalities to be looked down upon and it's impossible to tell anyone's nationality or background before knowing them.

I personally enjoy being mistaken as a local when I travel though. It was funny when I was asked "or are you a newbie who is working with us from today!?" by a store manager at Duty Free shop in Taoyuan airport in Taiwan! Haha. It was just when I got off from airplane and walking for immigration!
And when I visited Beijing, I was asked a direction tons of times and I was quite happy when the person who asked didn't even notice that I was not a local!
And at Keflavik airport in Iceland, a Chinese guy asked me where to return their car in Chinese and I answered them in Chinese. They also didn't even notice that I was Japanese and it was good that I didn't still forget how to speak their language!

Last edited by Lotus28 (6-25-2017 6:38 PM)

 

#57 6-25-2017 6:54 PM

neo_dare_devil
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

shavy wrote:

neo_dare_devil wrote:

The other lady asked me where I was born and I said in "Manila".  The lady without any hesitation said , " is that  where kids are on the streets picking up rubbish?".

Oh sorry to hear your experience, that's very rude. I haven't encounter such a conversation yet. That is what I called stupid people! it looks so down on you.

Oh no don't be sorry because I was not offended. I felt sorry for the old lady  because  I was sarcastic and she probably  knew  that I  understood what  her intentions were. It is actually good  that there are forum posts
like  this that  we  can discuss in the travel community. I am pretty sure  that most  of the members here are definitely more open minded  and civil about their responses.

Last edited by neo_dare_devil (6-25-2017 7:46 PM)

 

#58 6-25-2017 8:28 PM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

This is going to be a long post if I responded to all the little sections of these I quoted,
so I will limit my response for now to two paragraphs in particular:

neo_dare_devil wrote:

melissawong wrote:

One of the most irritating things during my solo travels is when people just assume that I'm Chinese or they tried to say "Ni hao" in a really bad accent. I find them really ignorant to assume that all Asians are from China and live in China. If I say no, they will usually go on and guess if I'm Korean or Japanese. When they learned that I'm not from any of these countries, I will tell them I'm from Malaysia which they have absolutely no clue about.

I know this post sounds a bit racist but the problem here is some locals are ignorant and rude. Do you have similar experiences and how do you deal with them?

I' am sorry to hear  that you  feel  that way. Your feelings  are subjective and if you feel offended being mistaken as  a Chinese person no one should chastise you about it. Language barrier  and  ignorance are often the source of conflict while travelling. The words and gestures  that people  use  in conversation  can be  interpreted  in so many ways. Moreover , physical attributes are what  all people  always  see first. So if  your features are closely  comparable  to Asian people like  your complexion, body structure , eyes  and hair colour mostly likely those people who weren't exposed  to other Asian culture and nationalities would  draw conclusion  that  you are Chinese.

Physical attributes of ethnicity are now being blurred by the heterogeneous nature of what many nationalities or countries represent now. Of course, there are still relatively homogeneous societies (East Asia, many parts of Africa and South America, and so on). But western culture is far becoming more heterogeneous due to migration (either refugees, family or economic migration), and so the blur between ethnicity is getting more and more opaque here. On the other hand, those countries with large populations are becoming more and more homogeneous, except in areas where foreign expatriates come to work and eventually live in those economies (think China or India, where expats are a very miniscule minority despite their numbers on the increase).

Having said that, I think then that those who make such comments similar to what Melissa mentioned (Ni Hao) in advanced and multi-cultural societies are behind the times, relatively ignorant about other cultures, and in worse scenarios, likely to be racist. But flip the coin and go to cultures which are homogeneous, and their responses are typical of those who've never been exposed to other ethnic groups, not necessarily racist as intended simply because they don't have much experience first hand encountering the other ethnic groups. On the other hand, it can also be a result of censorship by local media, hence those who are exposed to social media are likely to be more open-minded to these except in cases of focused social media groups predicated on bias or hate.

neo_dare_devil wrote:

I have  my fair share of always  being mistaken from Latin/Hispanic/South America  and The Pacific Islands  and would  always have  to explain that my Heritage is Filipino. It is more often tedious for me to explain rather  than to ignore them  but confronting them  is also  my  way  to educate  people about my self and my culture. I love  to travel  and  if I visit  foreign countries I would  make  sure  that I know  some  phrases and words  from  their language because learning things about the people and their culture and  what  the majority  of  people's  perception  of  foreigners  would help me to be  culturally sensitive on my response.

Lotus28 wrote:

I personally enjoy being mistaken as a local when I travel though. It was funny when I was asked "or are you a newbie who is working with us from today!?" by a store manager at Duty Free shop in Taoyuan airport in Taiwan! Haha. It was just when I got off from airplane and walking for immigration!
And when I visited Beijing, I was asked a direction tons of times and I was quite happy when the person who asked didn't even notice that I was not a local!
And at Keflavik airport in Iceland, a Chinese guy asked me where to return their car in Chinese and I answered them in Chinese. They also didn't even notice that I was Japanese and it was good that I didn't still forget how to speak their language!

I love being mistaken for a local, it's more amusing to me than annoying. People when they ask you for directions on the street would generally avoid those who are foreign looking, since it's likely they are strangers or visitors to the environment. But when you get asked, even by locals themselves, it means they assume at first glance that you're from the community, hence the surprise when they realize you are a visitor. Likely that means also that you're less prone to be targeted by pickpockets and thieves, since many times these criminals target non-locals (tourists or expats).

So I've been mistaken for a local in most countries I've visited, with the exceptions being 1) India and 2) some countries in Europe. I would likewise say the same if going to the Middle East, but some countries like the UAE have a big expatriate and foreign worker population, that they will assume you're either one of those. And I just have to constantly remind myself that majority of the time I get asked, it is either for help regarding directions, and not necessarily just for the sake of striking a conversation with a foreign visitor.

But one thing is certain - vendors will always approach others, whether local, tourist or expat - to them, everyone is a potential sale.

 

#59 6-26-2017 1:35 AM

jitendra8819
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

shavy wrote:

jitendra8819 wrote:

Hii welcome to the travel forum.

You are not Chinese its ok but i think you are look Chinese that's way peoples you called a Chinese.

How about you what are you look like if not Chinese? Japanese, Thailand or Malaysian? big_smile

I am an Indian and i am looking a Indian.

Last edited by jitendra8819 (6-26-2017 1:35 AM)

 

#60 6-26-2017 2:27 AM

shavy
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

jitendra8819 wrote:

shavy wrote:

jitendra8819 wrote:

Hii welcome to the travel forum.

You are not Chinese its ok but i think you are look Chinese that's way peoples you called a Chinese.

How about you what are you look like if not Chinese? Japanese, Thailand or Malaysian? big_smile

I am an Indian and i am looking a Indian.

Ah okay thanks to reconfirmed.......Nobody can mistaken your looks  big_smile

Last edited by shavy (6-26-2017 2:34 AM)

 

#61 6-26-2017 6:02 AM

grandmar
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

neo_dare_devil wrote:

neo_dare_devil wrote:

The other lady asked me where I was born and I said in "Manila".  The lady without any hesitation said , " is that  where kids are on the streets picking up rubbish?".

Oh no don't be sorry because I was not offended. I felt sorry for the old lady  because  I was sarcastic and she probably  knew  that I  understood what  her intentions were. It is actually good  that there are forum posts
like  this that  we  can discuss in the travel community. I am pretty sure  that most  of the members here are definitely more open minded  and civil about their responses.

I wondered if this was because of a recent movie like "Slum Dog Millionaire" (although that is about India).  But I think that this was most likely a case of someone whose mouth operated without censorship by the brain.  I have blurted out things like that - as soon as I said it, I knew I should have kept quiet. 

And of course places that we love or live in can have bad publicity so people who are not familiar with them know them only by the news stories.  For instance I grew up in Baltimore and the riots and murders in the past couple of years have given the city a bad reputation.  But I know the area where the riots happened and outside of that area there's really no problem.

 

#62 6-26-2017 10:59 AM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

Everyone can be mistaken for someone else, but in most cases I see when people say "ni hao" to every Asian face or "Konnichiwa" they are being a smart ass. I see guys do this just trying to fish for a girl who will actually talk to them and be impressed. How about just saying hello to a person you want to meet and work out the language or cultural differences if you discover you actually CAN communicate.

I was spoken to in Arabic and French many times in Morocco and was quite surprised at the mix of people and that the look of locals was a far cry different than what I saw in media representations of the place. It was actually refreshing to blend in while others didn't. In western countries though, that person you say "ching chong" or "konnichiwa" to is just as likely as you to be born locally. So why not just say hello in the local language if you really want to talk and go from there?

 

#63 6-27-2017 12:10 AM

lailahuang
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

when i travel, people would ask me whether im from Japan or Korea, which i dont mind at all. It is a way for the locals and you to get into a coversation during your trip. Mostly the locals dont have any bad intention when they ask you. So just be friendly and smile over it if you dont want to answer, or start making friends if you want to make it into a long conversation.
I find good people all along my trips.

 

#64 6-27-2017 12:11 AM

lailahuang
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

Meanwhile, Ni Hao means "Hi, how are you?" is a way to greet you in a friendly way, dont take it bad

 

#65 6-27-2017 1:56 AM

Yian
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

stefmuts wrote:

Yian wrote:

Me : "I am from Singapore!"

Westerner : "Which part of China is that in?"

So did you explain or just walked away?

Ones someone said to me: the Netherlands ... is that near Amsterdam? And I just said yes

I would usually explain to them where Singapore is and that we have people of various races, culture and religion. I am not offended by such a question; just find it funny.

 

#66 6-27-2017 2:38 AM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

Last summer when I arrived in  Italy, walking towards passport control an employee with massive smile on his face asks me "British passport?", to which I reply "no, Bulgarian", his smile disappeared in a split second and he went on to assist another person who was walking behind me. Similar incidents happened throughout my trip to a point where I started telling people I was South African (have lived there for 20 years).
One of the sour memories from my Italy trip.

 

#67 6-27-2017 7:23 PM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

I would generally consider "Ni Hao Ching Chong" as more offensive than a simple "Ni Hao", although I still find the former funny, and not offended by it. I am Chinese but I do make Ching Ching Chong Chong jokes at times.

harbinger wrote:

Often a clumsy question will open the door to more meaningful engagement, but that can depend as much on the initial response as the initial question.

Totally agree!

stefmuts wrote:

It might be considered rude of ignorant if you ask such questions in countries youre visiting though! I expect travellers to study the places they want to visit at least a bit

Actually, I tend not to read up about the country before my visit, hoping that an engagement with a local could educate me from a local's perspective, rather than "documentary-like" information.

neo_dare_devil wrote:

I have  my fair share of always  being mistaken from Latin/Hispanic/South America  and The Pacific Islands  and would  always have  to explain that my Heritage is Filipino. It is more often tedious for me to explain rather  than to ignore them  but confronting them  is also  my  way  to educate  people about my self and my culture. I love  to travel  and  if I visit  foreign countries I would  make  sure  that I know  some  phrases and words  from  their language because learning things about the people and their culture and  what  the majority  of  people's  perception  of  foreigners  would help me to be  culturally sensitive on my response.

Yeah, I too, would be happy to tell them a bit of my country just to get the conversation going, or at least, make them Google up on my country. In a way, we are ambassadors for our countries, aren't we?

neo_dare_devil wrote:

The other lady asked me where I was born and I said in "Manila".  The lady without any hesitation said , " is that  where kids are on the streets picking up rubbish?"

Now this is what I call rude and ignorant.

I was once queuing for an event and heard some other tourists chatting among themselves and their accent somewhat sounded like Filipino to me. But he said he was from Mexico. I was embarrassed that I guessed wrongly, but he didn't look offended but continued with a friendly chat. On another occasion, I asked someone if he was from Swiss because of the accent, but he wasn't. He looked so shocked, somewhat offended, that it made me quickly walk away before he eats me up. So I guess it depends on individual.

Lotus28 wrote:

I don't understand the reason why you get offended if you're mistaken for some other nationality even the person who talked to you were in friendly attitude and polite enough. I don't really get upset by it at all as it's difficult to tell Chinese from Japanese for them as it's difficult to tell Belgian from Dutch for me. I totally understand that. If I was offended by it, I would be the one who is a racist. There won't be any nationalities to be looked down upon and it's impossible to tell anyone's nationality or background before knowing them.

True. I wonder if people would feel less offended when being greeted "An Nyeong Ha Se Yo" and "Koniciwa" instead of Ni Hao? And I wonder of Europeans get offended when tourists couldn't differentiate their nationality?

MarioBG wrote:

Last summer when I arrived in  Italy, walking towards passport control an employee with massive smile on his face asks me "British passport?", to which I reply "no, Bulgarian", his smile disappeared in a split second and he went on to assist another person who was walking behind me. Similar incidents happened throughout my trip to a point where I started telling people I was South African (have lived there for 20 years).
One of the sour memories from my Italy trip.

WEIRD

Last edited by trippin_jen (6-27-2017 7:24 PM)

 

#68 6-29-2017 10:24 AM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

So effectively someone said "hello" in an unfamiliar language and you get upset over it? Talk about first world problems.

I, surprisingly, get mistaken for a local in many European countries (most recent Russia), at least until I open my mouth. Big deal, hardly worth getting your knickers in a twist over.

If people were being overtly racist toward you, I'd have sympathy but it really sounds like some people here are looking for a reason to whinge.

 

#69 6-29-2017 2:08 PM

emjaaay2
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

lailahuang wrote:

Meanwhile, Ni Hao means "Hi, how are you?" is a way to greet you in a friendly way, dont take it bad

georgeleach wrote:

So effectively someone said "hello" in an unfamiliar language and you get upset over it? Talk about first world problems....If people were being overtly racist toward you, I'd have sympathy but it really sounds like some people here are looking for a reason to whinge.

The frustration for me stems from not people trying to make small talk in a friendly way. I know what Ni Hao, Konichiwa, Annyounghaseyo mean... and I can have a decent conversation in two of those three languages. It is more in the fact that people won't believe I am from New York City and not East Asia.

I would say it is partially a first world problem, and an unintended consequence of rapid globalization, but.... it gets overly annoying when people pester you about your ancestry during a small talk.

 

#70 6-29-2017 6:54 PM

grandmar
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

It is annoying when someone asks a question and you answer it, and they so "No you are not" and refuse to believe that you have given the correct answer on something that you know what the answer is better than they do.  That's true even when the supposition is favorable to you (such as they think that I am younger than I am).

 

#71 6-30-2017 1:07 AM

Jigg
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

melissawong wrote:

One of the most irritating things during my solo travels is when people just assume that I'm Chinese or they tried to say "Ni hao" in a really bad accent. I find them really ignorant to assume that all Asians are from China and live in China. If I say no, they will usually go on and guess if I'm Korean or Japanese. When they learned that I'm not from any of these countries, I will tell them I'm from Malaysia which they have absolutely no clue about.

I know this post sounds a bit racist but the problem here is some locals are ignorant and rude. Do you have similar experiences and how do you deal with them?

Yes, most people in Asia and Africa, where I have travelled have greeted me with Hello. I even get an occasional Dobry den. None of those is my language. However, it has never crossed my mind to be offended.

 

#72 6-30-2017 8:15 AM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

When I am traveling abroad people often ask if I am Greek, Italian or Spanish. Mostly Southern European or even German. They were all wrong. Once someone asked where I was from, I told the guy I am from The Netherlands. His reply: "Oh where is that state exactly in the USA?".

I don't mind it at all people guessing I am from another country than I am really from. I find it rather funny. smile

 

#73 6-30-2017 6:39 PM

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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

I don't know about other places but here in the US it is extremely rude to assume every Asian person is Chinese or every Asian person is Japanese based on the observer usually having an interest in either culture due to manga, food, movies or other. Chinese words sometimes get yelled out in order to be funny like "Ni Hao" by men to women or "ching chong" with strange accents trying to imitate Asian languages. I have seen this tons of times in my life and never have they been attempts to say hello in any real sense. It has almost always been a way to make fun of people that are not really considered true Americans in my country. Even in my own family I have had to deal with this kind of thought process. It is very common and all of my Asian friends have experienced this ignorance.
Asians born and raised in local areas with parents also from these areas (Asians have been in the US for over 150 years ) are told to "go back to China" or wherever they are from. Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian, Indonesian and other Asians citizens get "Ni Hao" and " Konnichiwa" and "ching chong" and Asian eyes jokes. It still happens in 2017! I witness this crap too much and anyone trying to say it is just people trying to say hello in most cases are clueless. Many times it involves yelling supposed Asian words across a room or from a group of people towards another. Imagine sitting in a classroom with people making Asian sounds in the back of the room while non Asians laugh.
So for many Asian people, especially single Asian women walking past a group of men being ignorant, this takes on more than just a "hello".
Some locals even get annoyed when an Asian person says they are from the local area. Even when they are born here? "No, really, where are you from?" And sometimes their parents are also American born Asians. When an African is born and raised locally but his parents are from Nigeria, no one asks this question. So this whole thread is misunderstood by many who can't see a problem, don't want to see a problem, or are too ignorant to see a problem.

 

#74 7-1-2017 4:58 AM

nolan
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Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

Sept922 wrote:

Some locals even get annoyed when an Asian person says they are from the local area. Even when they are born here? "No, really, where are you from?" And sometimes their parents are also American born Asians. When an African is born and raised locally but his parents are from Nigeria, no one asks this question. So this whole thread is misunderstood by many who can't see a problem, don't want to see a problem, or are too ignorant to see a problem.

Sounds like the fuss about a former president being asked to prove that he wasn't born in Africa ... when in fact he was born in Hawaii...to an American mother.

 

#75 7-1-2017 7:03 AM

grandmar
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Posts: 459

Re: Please stop it! My name is not "Chinese" or "Ni hao"

Some people are rude and xenophobic. 

But you are preaching to the choir here.

 

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