BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: BEING HALF-CHINESE
People of all colors and creeds come from all over the world to work, study and travel in China. For more than 60 years foreigners have been allowed to study in the country. In recent years, one particular type of foreigner has become more common on the mainland: those with mixed-blood who have Chinese heritage.
Some grew up in China, others came to China to get to know their heritage and their ancestry. Some feel being mixed race offers huge advantages, others face difficulties, and some, simply, don’t give a damn. In Chinese the word 混血 (Hùnxiě) means mixed blood, while 华裔 (Huáyì) is a word that specifically stands for people of mixed blood with Chinese origin.
TWOC spoke with several young half-Chinese women to try to find out the difficulties and stereotypes they have been through, or just to let them enlighten us with their stories and how they feel about living in China.
Until recently Diana Logteva, 24, was a student in China; born to a Russian mother and a Chinese father, she thinks that being of mixed heritage can be a symbol for peace:
“I like being mixed, what I don’t like is when people are divided up into ethnic groups and you have to be either this or that. But here I am, both things, walking proof that everybody should be united,and these questions like which ethnicity you prefer need not to be asked.”
Being mixed, often leads to be people asking Diana about which country she prefers, and she finds such questions somewhat disturbing:
“A lot of people are asking me these weird questions, like do you think you are more Russian or Chinese? And which boys do you you like white or Asian? They are kind of asking me to choose sides. But it doesn’t bother me that much, because i don’t have to choose and I don’t even think about it. I think people that are saying this are a little narrow-minded”
Lotus Qi, 23, is a translator in Beijing. Her mother is Austrian and her father Chinese. She spent the first twelve tears of her life in Vienna, and after that mainly resided in China:
“For me it really depends where I am and who I’m talking to. In Austria everybody assumes I’m Asian; they often can’t comprehend I might be Austrian,” adding, “in Beijing it is different. I guess I’m sometimes treated as a foreigner. When I tell, say, a taxi driver I’m Chinese they don’t believe me, and sometimes think I’m from Xinjiang or am a Chinese minority. Often I can’t be bothered with the explanations and just tell then I’m a foreigner and be done with it.”
On being asked if she is proud of being mixed, Lotus is contrite: “Well, no. It’s not like I spent my whole life working to some goal and was finally, ’yes, I’ve made it to exactly 50 percent!’ So pride is not the right word but, yes, I do feel lucky and blessed”…
Continue Reading Here.
With this reblog I am going to start posting more stuff to do with “half-Chinese” on ouya.com