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October 09, 2005
Dating a Chinese used to be frowned upon because it was controversial, but dating experts and commentators say locals are now avoiding cross-cultural relationships because they are no longer "fashionable". Spurred by the media frenzy over [an] actress being seen with a Chinese, a prominent media commentator recently devoted his column to the lack of appeal in dating Chinese. In a controversial and often scathing indictment of today's expatriates, the former BBC journalist and regular television pundit Chip Smith said in his column: "In this day and age hanging out with a Chinese is `out'..." Writing in Easyfinder magazine, Smith said the pre-colonial population of rich Chinese sailed off into the sunset with the ex-governor and the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation after the handover.Today's SCMP, with one exception - I changed the word "westerner" to "Chinese". The headline is even more offensive: Have HK girls stopped looking for Mr White? How does it read now? On with the tripe:
However, Mak Hoi-wah, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Social Studies at City University, believes that the trend has to do less with racism than with the fact that westerners and locals are now much closer. "The difference in social status has decreased and the lines of racial division have softened," he said. "Also westerners today feel there is no need to put up a front. People just don't feel that westerners are anything special anymore."The main question this raises is the one no-one talks about: why is racism considered acceptable when it's done by non-Westerners? Even the SCMP editorial staff miss the point entirely:
It is not so long ago that many Hongkongers faced a future armed with passports issued by the British government. Now the wheel has turned. Few have gone anywhere. The new Hong Kong SAR passports in use now outnumber the others. Expatriates who have stayed and the many thousands who have made their home here since then prize permanent resident status. But while some things may have stayed pretty much the same, others have changed. The end of colonial rule redefined the relationship between locals and westerners. The anachronism of life under a foreign power was swept away in the legal moment of the handover. The social landscape has also changed, apparently - though not as dramatically. As we report today, evidence of changing social attitudes is to be found in one of our more humble living archives - the files of dating agencies and singles clubs. They tell the story more succinctly than any formal research or social commentary. Many clients of one singles club once admired westerners and were keen to meet them.A healthy sign of a mature, mutliracial society is where the colour of the skin of a local starlet's boyfriend isn't newsworthy. Idiocy like this story are the sign of a society still grappling with a massive inferiority complex.
posted by Simon on 10.09.05 at 09:00 AM in the Hong Kong people category.
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There was just an article the other day in the New York Times that said that many Chinese women were divorcing their Chinese husbands because they were too ''traditional'' when they kept mistresses and the like. They were leaving their Chinese husbands for Western males.
So, spin? What do you think the spin on this is? I think it's another angle of the increasing nationalism rising in Hong Kong.posted by: doug crets on 10.09.05 at 01:21 PM [permalink]
Yes, I'd say it's all about "patriotism" and "nationalism", albeit of the jingoistic kind.posted by: Simon on 10.09.05 at 03:05 PM [permalink]
Ironically, I'd say my wife (chinese) and I (white American) have encountered way more racism in the US from other Chinese (tons) than from Americans (approaching zero). And forget about within China -- long way to go on that front.posted by: 88 on 10.10.05 at 04:17 PM [permalink]
My Australian born/Cantonese parents fiance has nothing but scorn for Canto men. It probably doesn't help that her calcium and wheat-rich Australian diet has made her taller and more muscular than most of them. Even at the gym, they tremble before her stature as she warns "Back off, fragile boned Canto mamma's boy. I have calcium!"posted by: Errant Australian on 10.10.05 at 04:55 PM [permalink]
Honkie girls wouldn't even look sideways at us when we visited there earlier this year.We were poor backpackers though.
I think she might be on to something.posted by: Yobbo on 10.10.05 at 04:58 PM [permalink]
Don't worry, poor backpackers are looked down on everywhere.posted by: Harry Hill on 10.11.05 at 12:54 AM [permalink]
Somehow that Chip Tao managed to insult westerners as well as girls. Overzealous patriotism is dangerous and not worth being proud of.posted by: vicky on 10.14.05 at 07:21 PM [permalink]
>the sign of a society still grappling with a massive inferiority complex
Right you are.posted by: Ken on 10.16.05 at 11:44 PM [permalink]
I dont think its the Asians who suffer from inferior complex. If its anything, its the other way around. Why do we always see Asian females after white guys in movies? Because they are made for the "white majority" who could take tha pain of losing wars in Korea, Vietnam and the constant bombardment of how Japan and China is taking jobs away from America.posted by: gingsing on 11.08.05 at 07:56 AM [permalink]