Chinese People Who Say We’re “All the Same”

As a Korean Canadian who immigrated in 1989, I’ve been hearing “are you Chinese?” my whole life.  It used to bother me a lot when I was growing up, because I was appalled by the assumption of the masses.  However, recently I have calmed down a lot in this respect, as I’ve realized that statistically, whoever asks if I’m Chinese, they have made the most correct guess (assuming that they have no way of telling us apart).  If we were all blind and had neutral accents, asking every person if they’re Chinese is still the most statistically correct guess.

In the last 4 years, I have come across two occasions where a Chinese person has said that being Korean is the same as being Chinese.  Even as I type these words, I can feel a shiver crawl down my arms.  I find this absolutely unacceptable.

Many Chinese people that I’ve met in the past have insisted that I distinguish mainland Chinese from Hong Kong Chinese.  I gladly do this if I can, as I’ve found that people from these two nation states have distinct cultures and languages.  How, then, can anyone have the audacity to say that Koreans are the same as Chinese?

In both instances, a Chinese person asked me if I was Chinese, and when corrected, their response was “Well, that’s pretty much the same thing.”

Oh my god.  Are you fucking kidding me?

How could anyone who is a part of one culture extend it to overtake any other culture because of the way they look?  I…I’m not very good with words, so I can’t express the deep anger that I feel.

The ultra shock on these instances is that one time, it happened at university, and the next time, it happened at grad school.  I just can’t believe that people with so much education…in Canada(!!!) could be so ignorant.  However, I’m not sure if it’s actually ignorance, or if it’s genuine arrogance that their culture is superior.

I hope for everyone that your paths will never have to cross such people.

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One Response to “Chinese People Who Say We’re “All the Same””
  1. Ducker says:

    Well…ive always thought that Oriental folk see white people all the same. Frankly its hard man, real hard I can sopt Japanese and Chinesse but for respects sake I first ask where are people from….its easier on everybody that way.

    Have a nice day….

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