Clashing over China with Chinese Students Abroad

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Diaspora readers should take a look at Helen Gao’s “Clash of Civilizations: The Confusion of Being a Chinese Student in America,” published in The Atlantic. The article discusses the conflicted feelings of newly arrived Chinese students in the U.S. who are often unprepared for their host country’s hostile and condescending opinions on China.

I read the article with interest and a twinge of guilt… because once upon a time, I was one of those people giving Chinese students a hard time about the place they come from.


In 2004, I made my first friend from the People’s Republic of China. Prior to Jen, those I knew who’d been born on Chinese soil had become first-generation Canadians or were landed immigrants who’d been in the country for years. In comparison, Jen was a truly fresh-off-the-plane international student, a foreigner with her heart in Sichuan and her mind set on earning her foreign engineering degree and returning to China to make her family proud.

We were in Toronto one weekend, two vaguely-acquainted friends-of-friends who’d ended up alone together simply because no one else wanted to travel in -25°C weather for fresh egg tarts. The howling snow storm outside the hostel kept us awake that night, and with the new intimacy of travel partners, we started sharing stories of where we came from.

Jen told me about a childhood in China filled with love from her parents and extended family. She told me stories about school, her friends, her doting boyfriend, trips to beautiful Jiuzaigou, her mother’s hot and spicy malatang. She missed Chengdu, she said, and often longed for the bustle of that city of 10 million, such a contrast to our small university town. She laughed at how little she knew about her destination when applying for Canadian universities, an ignorance brought on by a strong reluctance to leave. She had wanted to go to university in China, she said, but her parents insisted on trading their savings for her broadened horizons.

To my teenage ears, Jen’s stories didn’t sound right. Her China certainly wasn’t the China I’d already formed a strong opinion on despite having no firsthand knowledge or experience of the country. China, to me, was the place my ancestors had escaped from three generations ago, a violent mess of a place I’d read about in countless Cultural Revolution memoirs and articles discussing the Three T’s. Jen should have been eager to leave China, determined never to return, I thought. Her childhood must surely have been plagued by the loneliness of being an only child, bad pollution hurting her lungs, academic pressure and the stress of competing with a billion others. Instead, she sounded… happy.

That night, I brought up all my prejudices against China, and tried to goad Jen into discussing certain topics like Tiananmen Square despite my own shaky knowledge of events. She grew increasingly agitated as she listened to my self-righteous rants against the place she called home. “China isn’t like that!” she cried. She told me she was learning more about China by being overseas, but she couldn’t see how the country in which she was born and raised could be so bad. “Why do you need me to hate China?” she asked.

Why, exactly, did I? Why was I trying to offend another? Was I trying to bully her into seeing the light, my light? Did I want to liberate her from the fog of propaganda that I assumed blinded her childhood?

Jen’s simple question rang in my ears every time I felt the need to bring up “China’s problems” with new mainland Chinese friends. In 2007, I had a roommate from Shanghai, who responded to my criticisms with a fierce loyalty to her country that only spurred me on. I’m sure “human rights,” “Taiwan” and “Little Emperors” were thrown in there somewhere. Neither of us were swayed by the other, and we went to bed with our backs to each other that night.

Back then, I didn’t understand why Chinese students would get offended by my remarks, which I thought were fair. But in her Atlantic article, Helen Gao repeats Jen’s sentiments – she, too, “had difficulty connecting the Orwellian China described in western media to the one I recognized,” and thus found herself “wrestling with an instinctive compulsion to take China’s side, a feeling not unfamiliar to many Chinese students in the States.”

Another Chinese friend I met in Canada says he’s “not nationalistic at all,” and only feels compelled to defend his country when baited by those who think in black-and-white. “Only a very ignorant frog in a well would deny China has an ugly side,” he said. “Sometimes I think China sucks. We’re developing too fast, and there are too many problems because of that, but I decided to come back. We’re flawed, not evil.”


An American friend argues that the “problem” discussed in Gao’s article is definitely not limited to Chinese students in the U.S. “I get the crap kicked out of me all the time for every sin committed by the United States since Jefferson set his pen to paper and began writing the Declaration of Independence,” he says. Americans abroad are often taken to task for their country’s decisions whether the individuals in question personally agree with those decisions or not, from the war in Iraq to shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Dealing with outsiders’ strong opinions about your country is an unavoidable consequence of being a citizen of a country with a heavy presence on the world stage.

As for myself, I shoved aside all those Mao-era yadda-yadda memoirs of China and decided to see the country for myself. Ironically, I am the one who has settled in China, while my friend Jen is still living and working in Canada. We’ve come a long way from that cold night in a Toronto hostel when she was struggling against my negative views. Today, she’s quite critical of her home country, while I tend to defend China to my parents, relatives, and friends who’ve only been able to experience China through foreign media.

It’s amazing how popping your head out of the well can change you.

Have you ever goaded someone into a critical discussion of his/her country? Have you ever had a negative opinion of a place that was changed after experiencing it?

Christine writes about being an ethnically Chinese foreigner in China at Shanghai Shiok! 


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  • Jay K.

    first and fore most, sofa!

    2nd, christine, seriously you are the few who have a gifted pen

    3rd, i feel this is every aspect of what you had written, i just couldn’t believe how every word you had written hit home to “I the Yankee” have questioned, stated, and acted upon.

    4th, keep writing and when it coms to voting blogs ill be there to support your blog for an award!

    5th, i may have my biases(cough…loyal listener to fox news/bill o’reilly..cough..cough) but it’s a bias that i have come to accept to say dont ever stop writing, you’ve won over a reader!

  • Milessio

    It’s easy to criticise another country/culture if you’ve never been there, & Chinasmack stories can reinforce skewed views, but articles like this thankfully return the balance.

    Note: studying in a ex-pat ghetto or going holiday to all-inclusive resort, don’t really count though. The locals don’t bite & you might like their food & broaden your mind!

  • Alex

    I lived in a few places over the years – experienced cultures both diverse and unique, but I must say that I’ve never met a people as culturally incohesive as the “Chinese” – in fact, if it weren’t for the political glue holding together the country, China would certainly be reorganized as the United States of China. You think that a typical “yankee” is distinct from a typical “cowboy”, try comparing someone from Beijing to someone from Hong Kong, and let’s not even consider the other 4 or so dozen distinct races and cultures residing on Chinese soil who absolutely do not identify themselves as an integral or integrated part of the Chinese society.

    • CHNinUSA

      actually, many ppl in China would like the idea of United States of China. In 1911 the nation was established by the idea of united nations of five races(the Republic of China): the Chinese, the Manchu,the Mongolian, the Tibetan and the Uygur. Each race should govern themselves. However, things changes after Mao took the nation.

      • norbu

        i’m a tibetan residing in India.
        i like the idea of a United States of China and self governance.
        Or maybe the UK of China. The US is a mess right now.

  • dim mak

    I pick fights with people all the time. Not even kidding. When I meet someone from a country I’ve never met anyone from, I have a field day. What I found out is that 99.9% of people base their politics on their feelings and their ethnic/national identity, and not so much on what’s true or not. Hearts and minds, it is everything. That’s probably what happened with you and the people you encountered.

    My HK parents are pretty anti-commie, so as a kid I used to believe the mainland was a dystopia. But then I grew up and started reading a more diverse selection of news, and found China to be more complex. I don’t doubt a lot of the stuff foreign press reports really do happen in China, but here’s the key point: it doesn’t all the time/to most people. There’s some oppression, but the average Chinese lives a normal life, and good things happen in China too. It just depends on the person’s bias to highlight one aspect or another.

    Overseas Chinese are really quite fortunate. Even if it makes you feel conflicted, we see the world from multiple angles and it brings us closer to the truth. There are always people who expect you to agree with a certain opinion because of your background; and to them I say, “Fuck off man, I believe what I find to be true.”

  • Lin

    What a read.
    As a CBC myself i have western notion of China. I’ve been to Mainland China, specifically Peking, and Guandong province. As a tourist the attraction are nice, but everywhere i went there were beggars and squakers. I was kind of scared, as the tour guide said keep your personal belongings close. The image that resonated with is that.

    So far in my university i’ve only made friends with Hong Kongers, and they seem to dislike the Mainlanders. When asked, they claim the uncivility of Mainlanders.

    Maybe when i meet a mainlander they can change my perspection.

    • Jay K.

      lin, your hongkee’s point of statement with their nose in the air an a brash for being smug to others, unfortunately is pretty accurate for the most part; that is unless said mainland person has a high form of education and or is in high contact with the outside world and those who stay are in it for the money, make enough then emigrate.

    • Quite honestly, it is not that likely to have your belongings stolen in China. Of course your guide would say something like that, which tour guide will tell you not to keep your belongings close? There is nothing to be scared about in China from that point of view.

      And most Hong Kongers are extremely snobbish, and their opinion of mainlanders is to do with prejudice, not reality.

      • Lin

        I meant in terms, that when i got off the tour bus, i was literally swarmed by beggars and squakers. Not just i, but the passengers of the tour bus as well. That kind of impression is quite scary, and that was when going to a restaurant near a supposed tourist area. Hence the tour guide’s emphasis on keeping ones possession close.

        I don’t know if Hong Kongers are snobbish, but the ones i have met are spoiled like crazy. They seem to treat money like nothing, and always want to go out to shop, eat, karaoke and play. But i’m told Mainland students are the same, so i assume it’s just a foreign student thing.

        • sgi

          That would happen in any big city with a large population of poor. I was in LA once outside of a concert, and in 3 blocks I saw over 30 beggars/homeless. Granted, they may not have approached me as aggressively because, unlike your situation in China, they can’t obviously tell I’m “foreign.”

          Chinese beggars (any beggars, really) see foreigners as easy pickings. Don’t let that bias your opinion of China.

        • CHNinUSA

          Maybe Canada is just a place very nice to live, here in Phoenix, which is not even the 1st tier city, you will see beggars asking you for money, sometimes even for buying him a pizza and drunken ppl staring and yelling at you in the night for no reason.

          • Carl

            I have lived in Germany, been to China (Jiangsu, JiangXi, Beijing) and the US(Alabama, Vermont) and now I’m living in Canada (Quebec). Of these places Canada definitely has the most beggars. China is a close second though.

  • JSakamoto

    I talk about China and how the US always vilifies China to my girlfriend who’s from mainland china and to a lesser extent my chinese friends also from the mainland. At first they were definitely surprised that me, a american born japanese guy would actually be defending china and criticizing the US. I say that the US has a double standard towards China and that the 9/11 attacks were well deserved for their arrogance and interference in other countries affairs and I hope there’s another 9/11 style attack on US soil.

    By now they all know me. I tell things how I see it even if they think I’m a little crazy, which I agree sometimes I am.

    • xiaojie

      oh where is the taliban when you need them. since u wish for them to drop bombs on america again, i hope they don’t miss your entire family next time.maybe even make u a cripple and then you can come back and tell us how the american public have been made less ignorant with the death of your family.try cctv news. the US bashing on there is just as bad if not worse

  • david

    see? ya’ll think going to the states is a great thing.
    now they can understand how some of us laowai feel.

    i get discriminated against everyday.

    welcome to world kiddies.

  • Interested

    We need to become salesmen like white people. As sale go, every thing about Asian should be superior. All others are just inferior. That is the best way to live in this world dominated by marketers.

  • GodsHammer

    I wish that the overseas students could see the hypocrisy in bothering to argue with us on rights issues. They protested by the 1000’s on Parliament Hill to the government over the way that the media portrayed China. Wtf?The 2 things are not connected.
    6000 Chinese , complete with chanting and waving of Chinese flags on our national Parliament lawn. Can you imagine if 60 Americans/Canadians/French etc, decided to have a protest in China? Hahahahaha… in fact most Chinese don’t dare to speak up for anything or about anything in their own country.
    Maybe next time we will make you feel at home and just ‘Loose the Hounds’…

  • Ann

    The Chinese students the author mentioned are too young to know well about china’s dark sides. During their whole lives, before they go abroad to be a college student, they spend most time studying in school, absorbing so much knowledge that is brainwashing. And their parents, often very wealthy, who can provide them relatively good life in China and have the capacity to send them abroad, may not be eager to tell them about the dark sides of the country. So that’s why, at first, her parents insisted her to go abroad, while she didn’t want to.
    The problem in this article, i guess, comes from the fact that the author and other foreign people have a much larger chance to meet this kind of Chinese students, instead of Chinese people in a broader sense who live a hard life in this country and know really well about it.

  • Dan Danger

    When you consider how American may denounce China in a debate you have to consider one other thing and that is Americans often denounce, and are allowed to denounce, their own own country as well. There is a nationalistic fever in China that seems to imply that any criticism of “the motherland” is a horrible thing. And not all Chinese are this way of course, I am speaking of the 95% who are. I have met some Chinese who criticize the CCP and state that Mao was a bad leader, but they are very few indeed and they keep their opinions hushed and within their circle of friends or amongst laowai. Students in North America do this thing. I don’t think all Chinese students abroad are so sweet either, often demonstrating against their host countries when they come from an oppressive govt that won’t allow them to do the same thing here. I have read plenty of stories about Chinese students flipping out over American students who have a different view on Tibet and becoming volatile. In one I read about case a Chinese student threw a water bottle at a visiting Tibetan monk during a discussion, almost hitting him and a teacher, simply because he did not agree with the monk’s point of view.

    I have met people who criticize me as soon as they find out I am an American. I mean they are hostile. They are not Chinese. They are typically British, Irish or Canadian. Aussies seem more laid back. In the word we all live in people will hate the top dogs the most, and the US and China are the big dogs now. They will always have these chihuahua countries like Ireland and Denmark snipping at their heels. Relax.

    • CHNinUSA

      chihuahua countries….nice play Dan Danger…nice play.
      Actually, in traditional Chinese ideology, the small countries you are talking about is called “國”(country),the countries like USA, China, India is called “朝” (dynasty) which is usually united by small 國。The modern geopolitics just make possible a city and a continent being equal

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      I don’t know what that other commenter here is trying to say- sounds like they think we will all be divided into dynasties. Thats pretty funny actually. But you are right on when it comes to the ability to criticize your own country- particularly in the media/ rallies etc. That just doesn’t exist in some countries.

    • The problem with China is, though, that it’s the Tibetan mastiff that likes to pretend it’s still a chihuahua with a bitter past and festering wounds brought about by what today are the industrialized nations. For political expedience as well as ultranationalistic/exclusivist propaganda purposes, the theme of “the world is out to get us” is being raised by the gov’t, and unfortunately mainlanders are too stupid to see through the fog.

  • DrPepper

    People can’t seem to distinguish between the people of the country and the actions of the government.

    I hate actions of Hitler, does that mean I hate the German people?

    Of course, the current Chinese regime would have you believe that any criticism of the regime equals anti-Chinese people.

    • GodsHammer

      Germans don’t take every opportunity to tell you about how their government is awesome and how the Fuhrer was the father of modern Germany, and how he led them out of the dark ages, etc.
      Similarly, Japanese will never tell you about the awesome Hirohito and how he made everything better… why?
      Because of a national coolness that comes from getting your ass kicked. IF/WHEN China gets its ass handed to it in a military conflict (Japan would have finished the job but American interference stopped that) you’ll see the overall attitude become much more open-minded and a lot less pre-programmed.
      This principle works on a personal level as well, as often the most arrogant or openly offensive people are the ones who have never gotten pummeled.
      In summary, your grade3 teacher lied when she told you that ‘Fighting doesn’t solve anything.’ Au Contraire, it solves almost everything in a natural way.

      • Look, China did have “its ass kicked” for over a century before 1949, it was invaded and dismembered. The countries which have really never know defeat and invasion are the US and Britain, and if they had been their people might be more open minded.
        By the way, the Chinese abroad also don’t “take every opportunity to tell you how their government is awesome and how Mao led them out of the dark ages”, they only do so if provoked.

        • Uncle Sam

          U.S. invaded China? In fact the reason Japan attacked us in WW2 was because we refused to stop giving you weapons. Then fought your enemies in your country as per your request.

          Then even when we were trying to destroy communism, China was “the exception on account of long standing relations”.

          The only real problem between the US and China is that we are both so paranoid we can’t see who our real friends are.

          In history we have grown closer twice when the rest of the world showed how ugly it can be in “hard times”. Those times are coming again and we will soon be facing yet again the cold fact that there only a few nations who retain their humanity when all else fails.

          Also, China has survived more invasions than Germany has had centuries on earth, the world time line didn’t start with Athens.

          Also, the US got its asses kicked multiple times by France, Spain and England in our first 100 years as a nation.

          Most Germans and Japanese don’t even know what all took place in WW2 and still think that it was just another red mark on history.

          The one thing that makes Chinese and Americans so patriotic is that we take the good with the bad. We both know our histories and we both plan accordingly for our futures.

  • SS

    The hell, the author of that article is a friend of mine from college.

    • Dave in Macau

      Thanks for that insightful comment.

  • typingfromwork

    Very lucid article. It’s always nice to open one’s mind and assess situations as they are, rather than from the hand-me-down opinions of others.

    China is of course no where near perfect. It has to battle through a lot of crap, and improve on a number of fronts. But the almost cold war era view of the country that some people have is baffling. Still, it’s alway better to have a dialog, even if it is sometimes needlessly confrontational.

  • shade

    What you fail to understand is this is the general attitude of many “YOUNG” Americans toward EVERYONE! Except Germany and Ireland Because they have great beer and whiskey. It’s embarrassing but it’s true. Don’t take offense it’s nothing personal. Just poorly educated in the world kids.
    What people don’t understand, people fear. What people fear, people destroy.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      Yes and no. Young Americans are taught to be very “politically correct” but are by no means always that way. I’m a male/ American/white and my first experience learning that every other country realizes how dumb some of our US national decisions are were when a French girl literally just came up to me in Beijing and started questioning me about Iraq. Not a Chinese person afterall haha. It was definitely a good experience in that I think all young Americans should be confronted with citizens of other countries more- and because it got me thinking more critically about the media and insular dialogue within ones own country. But after 3 years in China there have only been a handful of times when Chinese people would voluntarily ask me about US politics, or if they do it is hardly original. But if young americans are insulated in their views, well don’t even get me started on young chinese mainlanders, phew

  • donscarletti

    I remember in university (UNSW Sydney), I was in an engineering professional issues and ethics class and we were discussing how standards and regulations are different in different jurisdictions and one of the Chinese guys (the class was about 50% Chinese or so) got up and barrelled into a seemingly well rehearsed and wordy speech about how the Chinese government is working to strengthen autonomous areas according to the local customs as well as pursuing national progress etc.

    Well, the whole class looked pretty stunned. To an Australian, government political speech doesn’t go much further than glib retorts at question time. The tutor didn’t know what to say, so he just thanked the student, who sat down and remained silent for the rest of the lesson. I have no idea what was going through his head at the time, but I think he would have felt somehow accomplished. Anyway, a highlight of that otherwise uninteresting class.

  • sgi

    I’ve never experienced anything like this. I was born in Indiana, lived in California, and am attending school in Boston soon. If I meet kids from the West, we share culture or (more likely, since I’m familiar with American culture) just talk about new movies or music. Sometimes I’ll meet other students from Asia, and we have normal conversations. I’ve never bumped into anyone who said “Ew, China? That place where you eat dogs?”

    Though I guess I’ve had a really privileged, sheltered life, it still seems like most people I meet have the impression that China is a place where math geniuses reside. (And where the internet is censored a whole lot.)


    The behaviour of the Western cultures towards Chinese people and things have changed a lot since 1895 (Opium Wars) but still a lot has not changed.

    Their attitude towards the Chiense is reflected in their diplomacy compared to China’s diplomacy.

    When the “Chinese student” (used collectively) have absorbed the (some times humiliating & painful) lessons of Western ideas and attitude they will return to China (if they do) as better Chinese!

    They will undersand the history of foreign domination of China better.

    Believe me. I did….

    • Chinggis was here

      Then you learnt little from history! It’s a shame you didn’t learn more about the privileged Chinese oppressing their own people. The opium wars were over a 100 years ago, let it go and start looking at the last 100 years of Chinese leadership, corruption and guanxi that have held China back.

      However, what you wrote is typical of the Mainland Chinese mentality of blaming foreigners for Chinese problems instead of taking responsibility for yourselves.

      I lived in China and was discriminated against everyday; after all I was, and always would be considered a laowai in the harmonious Middle Kingdom.

      • CHNinUSA

        The fact is if you view the entire history, you will find the disaster brought by Chinese to its own people is much more on scale and quartiles than any the foreign countries brought to them. However, since it’s China we can talking about, people often forget/forgive the bad thing by its own people, like the Manchu invaded and conquer China.

        About the things you are treated as laowai, I think you will have the same situation in most Asian country. No laowai can be Chinese or Japanese no matter how you adapt to the society. But if you are white, you will be regarded high instead of being discriminated.

    • Wu Hu

      OMG, a trolling chinese… in china…

  • Uncle Sam

    I’ve traveled through N.Am, Euro and E.Asia.

    I like to question people about these things. It is important for us to really know each other. There is a line though between asking and accusing.

    Bad things happen in history. They’re lessons. Those that don’t remember theirs are the real failures. Yeah, we Americans make mistakes, then we correct them and get stronger. The Chinese have been doing the same for millennia , that is why they have been able to unify so many people.

    • Jeffli

      We have come along way since the the heady almost unanimously racist days the last century.

      Now, the only thing Chinese people need fear is Chinese people. ask any Mainland born Chinese who has lived and integrated overseas they will agree citing some of the darker moments of Mainland Chinas modern history in the last 20 years. It is sad to say, but China is still a developing country. Like in most developing countries they’re their own worst enemy. Things are slowly improving but there are lots of problems.
      It is a pity that modern Chinese can’t channel the energy of patriotism to steer the morals and ethics of the common people, to see what is right and what is against “the will of heaven”
      one example is the poisoned milk Chinese companies and govt. allows unwitting parents to administer to their babies. Even if I did not like a country or race I would not wish this on them that they see their little children develop liver / kidney cancers, die during kidney stone extractions, and god knows what else considering long term impacts of some of these poisons.


      I hear all you middle and upper class LOCAL AND FOREIGN STUDENTS complain you are hard done by because on your way to YALE/CALTECH/ANU someone called you names and you are crying about it! OR someone challenged your patriotism and blah blah blah
      Think of the less fortunate, the ones that don’t have the voice on the internet, your countrymen and women that don’t have the opportunity to study overseas due to extreme prejudice and poverty.
      think of the suffering children ALL AROUND THE WORLD. American and Chinese weapons being used to maim and kill children
      and you people complain because someone called you a stupid racist name! Welcome guess that I was called a Nazi/dagoe/wop/poof/shirtlifter/livershifter/kike and god knows what else…. get over it or sue the the basterds but stop the whinging. Most of you will all end up being overpaid MBA’s or Accountants and smarmy business people helping to continue this mess anyway!
      want things to change then THINK GLOBALLY – ACT LOCALLY
      you don’t need to be extreme, its the little things that help make a better world for everyone. help and educate one another. This world is your oyster! you are a pearl but many others are really in the deep shit! remember that! and be thankful for it.

  • Derek Xu

    China’s lousy university system produces graduates who cannot think or analyze. They can only spout off doctrine that they have memorized. Please feel sorry for them.

  • John

    The thing you have to remember when discussing China is that it’s a very large country. It cannot be denied that there are aspects of it that are truly hellish but it’s all too easy to brand the whole country that way.
    My answer to Jen’s question would be to explain that it’s important to know the truth, something which is hidden away so much there, the thing that I believe riles us most here in other countries. Ignorance is bliss and it seems Jen’s childhood was therefore quite blissful. Now, she was a child don’t forget and China isn’t the only place that protects its children from the harsher realities of life but I expect that some from those generations who lived through China’s troubled times feel compelled to makes sure that their offspring never have to experience again such awful things.
    As much as China tries its best to portray a good image (saving face) its PR often couldn’t be worse. The rest of the world can’t be so easily fooled but it’s important that we don’t go on tirades without knowing the full story but more importantly that we don’t spout our feelings at those poor sods who have nothing to do with the issues at hand!

  • Vicky

    I go to a British Uni with a large population of Chinese, both Hong Kong and mainlanders, I myself am British Caucasian. I like having the multi-cultural community, but its the same in any medium or high density human populations in British, there is always a mix of ethnicity. We have very few beggars in Britain, sometimes I may see one or two in major cities and towns when I spend a whole day in town. Also there is little or no racism towards Chinese/Africans/Arabs/Indians/Europeans/Americans in our University, discrimination is very rare and if it happens tends to cause a scandal and the racist is ostracised from the community.

    My only wish is that the Chinese mix more with westerners, they very rarely come to different societies on campus, they tend to only go to their own, I live with two Chinese people and they are very friendly but will very rarely strike up conversation, I always try to say hi but I love meeting new people and would love to be able to share interests with them.

    • Guest

      I’m a Canadian girl from Hong Kong, there are two Chinese students in my classes that I’m rather fond of – they are nice girls – but they don’t socialise with the rest of the class.

      When I try to drag them to social events they don’t go – they tell me that because their English isn’t very good they can’t afford time off studying – and that may be partly true, but I feel that they might be afraid of losing face over not being able to speak English as well as the rest of the class – even though they are fluent.

      I can sympathize, I’ve been trying to learn French and improve my math for years, but it’s so frustrating when I couldn’t that it actually gives me a headache. Nobody likes looking/feeling like an idiot, even though it’s necessary to be an idiotic n00b to learn then improve at something NEW>

  • you pretty much admitted your criticisms were not well informed at all, and now youve become even more ignorant. congratulations ?

  • Liu Bang

    Chinese Canadians on the whole are far more nationalistic and pro-China than most other Diaspora communities. Better or ill, I do not say.

  • Xio Gen

    “I get the crap kicked out of me all the time for every sin committed by the United States since Jefferson set his pen to paper and began writing the Declaration of Independence,”

    Yes, this is exactly how it is!

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