Appreciating the Chinese Culture

What do you think of when you hear about China or Chinese people? What comes to mind for me is fake products, short, extremely loud talkers, arrogant, bad drivers, bad manners, little eyes and the list goes on {count on hand}. Now think to yourself how many of these thoughts are nice or praiseworthy, not many right? Growing up I rarely heard good things about my culture in the media or out in public. The negativity associated with my ethnicity made me want to be anything but Chinese. I didn’t want to be known as one of those people who eat strange animals, have a bad English accent or are extremely cheap. Because of these stereotypes, I tried to change who I was, ignoring my both my culture and background in an attempt to become “less Chinese” {finger quotations}, which is impossible. I mean look at me. Only when I reached 14, and still now, did I start to reflect on all these factors that made me dislike who I was.

Not many people are aware of this, but I have a legal Chinese name AND it happens to be my middle name. I had always been too afraid to tell people as I always thought it embarrassing to have a name in a different language, especially in Chinese. I hear how people mock my language, but as much as I try and ignore it, It still hurts. Ever since I was young I would lie about not having a middle name because I was afraid people would react negatively, crack jokes, or make fun of my culture. The first memory I have of doing this was in primary. We had this activity where we would line up in alphabetical order according to our middle name. Everyone would ask each other for their middle name as though it was the most fascinating thing in the world, but I would just stand there lost and panicked. The teacher would then ask each person to recite their middle name out loud and when it finally got to me, I froze. I remember the teacher asking me what my middle name was and I was like {shake head}. All I could ever say was: “I…

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