What are the underlying reasons that some Singaporean Chinese feel ashamed of being ethnic Chinese?
Terry Lee, lives in Singapore
Answered Mar 15, 2017
Please speak only for yourself and not all Singaporeans.
Most Singaporeans I know including myself are not ashamed to be Chinese or call ourselves Chinese.
I only have a problem with people calling me “Chinese” if that confuses my ethnic and nationality, so the proper term would be Singaporean Chinese.
I get that some chinese want to disassociate themselves from mainland chinese, but that has nothing to do with trying to deny our ancestry. It is like those idiots in USA trying to say there are 62 different genders.
You can be a westernized Singaporean Chinese, you can be a Singaporean Chinese who cannot speak mandarin, but there is no such thing as an ethnic Singaporean.
Our ethnic is determined at birth and cannot be changed, we might be Singaporean citizens but we still do practice chinese culture, eat chinese food and speak mandarin (to a lesser extent). We are undeniably Chinese.
Practicing our ethnic culture in our multicultural society is what it means to be Singaporean. To deny our hereditary ethnic and tell people not to identify us as Chinese is to send an disgraceful message of arrogance which most Singaporeans Chinese will not agree with.
Answered Mar 15, 2017
My Airbnb guest from Singapore was a splendid young lady: fun, outspoken, fashionable, tattoo fanatic and I think she likes girls. She spoke Chinese and looked Chinese but when she visited China she was treated horribly by MANY Chinese. Why? Because she is a foreigner and she confuse the hell out of the Chinese Chinese.
She does not read Chinese. Her spoken Chinese has an accent that I cannot quite pin down but hell a lot of trendy millennials from whatever dullest part of China speak a thousand different exotic accents just because they think is supper coooool. This lovely young lady with her tattoos and exuberayting quirks certainly would be no difference? WRONG! She would stand in front of the big a*s sign in a restaurant and ask do you have this? How much is that? When handed a menu, she would tell the waiters “I cannot read”, at which point the waiters look at her with disbelief and think she is a prankster that is supper anoiying because she will not drop the act!
She speaks a different Chinese. “Taxi” is something different. “Bus” is different. “Subway” is different. Pizza Hut is different. When she asked about anything, nobody would help her! The worst part is every one think she speak Chinese because she DOES but it is different! The two of us had to alternate between English and Chinese to figure out what she was talking about. I have never heard taxi being called that name in my life and I have lived in north and south of China. She just confused the hell out of Chinese and frustrated herself to death during her entire trip.
After out long hilarious conversation she finally said ok I get it. My grannies’ Chinese is different from Chinese Chinese.
Well she still hated her experience in China and think it is one of the most hostile places she has ever visited because no one wanted to help and they all loose patient with her. However she did understand why, in the very end.
It really not all her fault. China is so big, Chinese are so plentiful, Chinese are so busy making money, you look like a Chinese, quack like a Chinese, you must be a Chinese. You are not? Quit sh*tting me.
She thought she was Chinese but standard deviation of being Chinese is so high, we have a rough time recognizing each other…