Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You'll never be Chinese by Mark Kitto

Mark Kitto wrote an article in Prospect Magazine creating a tirade of opinions and discussions(Here ).

His article in essence provided various reasons why an ex-pat from UK will never be a Chinese in China. Despite his 16 years in the country, learning the language; finding a fortune and then losing it; marrying a Chinese wife and producing mixed-children, it did not help him. In this article, he announced his withdrawal from China, a country he professes he once loved. Mark's parting gift is his vitriolic observation of the country.

The truth may reside in the simple fact that one can never be a Chinese when you are not Chinese, just as one cannot be a Englishman when you are not English.

The experiences of an Asian student migrant in Australia in the 70s humorously detailed in the ebook "The Yellow Banana" might shine light to this whole discussion (Here). Regardless of the author's 30 odd years in the country, his command of English, tertiary education, Australian wife and mixed-children, he too will never be a "Westerner". The difference to Mark Kitto's story is, he chose to stay in the wonderful host country and celebrated his difference instead of spitting the dummy and leaving.

Perhaps the trick here is to stop being who you are not - and start being who you are.