Chinese - the definition

StarStageGurl

Diabloii.Net Member
Chinese - the definition

I just realized how many Asians there are in the OTF, so here is a question for you. (Of course non-Asians are more than welcome to respond) In your opinion, does Chinese refer to a part of the Asian community including the Taiwanese, people from China, some Singaporean, some Malaysian, some Indonesians, etc.? Or does it refer to people from China only?

I personally think Chinese refers to all these people, but many of my Taiwanese friends correct me when I call ourselves Chinese. So, what do you think? I'll state my reasons later on in this thread. Now I want to see what you guys think.
 

KnightFall

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm not asian, but my 10 pennys worth...

If you live in China (or come from China), your Chinese. If you live outside China, your not.

It's like syaing I'm English. I'm not, I was born in Wales so I'm Welsh.

But people do gereralise and say all people from the British Isles are English, I think they are wrong...

KnightFall
 

Freet

Diabloii.Net Member
Which brings up a question I've had since I climbed trees as a kid.

Are there any Chinaberry trees in China?

Ok, ignore me. I'm behind on my meds.
 

Namyeknom

Diabloii.Net Member
I've always thought of 'Chinese' as a term of national identity, rather than an ethnic identity term. I would associate Chinese with someone who comes from China, rather than someone who comes from anywhere in the rest of East Asia.

As for the whole British = English thing KnightFall, I know what you mean. People tend to assume they mean the samething, when they don't.
 

~Kazama Fury~

Diabloii.Net Member
I am Chinese, born in Canada but parents are from the mainland.

I consider Chinese as a nationality identity as Namyeknom pointed out. However Ive noticed some ambiguities.

Every school Ive attended, there would be a Chinese club. But the club was not restricted to only Chinese (by my definition) people, we had asians everywhere. Of course, there would also be a selected number of non-asians who would come and hang out. No problem with that, I just thought why call it Chinese club? Because the majority of them is Chinese? Why not simply Asian club? In my current school, theres a Chinese club, Taiwanese Club and North American Asian club... Yeah..... Dont ask.

As for the Taiwanese issue. I usually dont use that term and call them Chinese as well. Some are ok with it, others pull a tandrum on me and reply back: "I am not Chinese, I am Taiwanese!". It sounds like here, where some Quebequers would get angry if I called them Canadians... Taiwan originated from China, so I guess that is why there is some conflicts with the issue. We can perhaps compare it to Australia, or to the extreme, the States and Canada to England/France. Those are extreme cases where Taiwan and China are still more connected than they are.

As for the Asian term definition, I consider Asians to be everyone who originated from the Asia Continent. As simple as that. This would include all the 'yellow' people and 'brown' people. I am far from being racist, but its just a joke we use in the common room and I think its well suited. I get called a banana from my asian friends all the time. I am sure you know that means, yellow in the outside, white in the inside?

Well I hope this post gave you a suitable insight.
 

rockboy888

Diabloii.Net Member
This is an interesting topic, like if you were an abc (american born chinese), but your dad's from taiwan, you call yourself taiwanese, chinese or american?

From the word's meaning, it should be only people from china. But from the historical culture (cause I've lived in taiwan and hong kong so I know), I'd say it chinese includes people from china, taiwan and hong kong, or anyone outside these 3 places with their father having 'chinese' blood.

People in Hong Kong (cantonese) won't care if people call them 'chinese'

People in Taiwan (taiwanese) mind that people call them 'chinese' and emphasize they are taiwanese because of politcal affairs between the 2 countries (and have been going on for a long time), they tend to dislike china

That should be the answer
 

rockboy888

Diabloii.Net Member
~Kazama Fury~ said:
As for the Taiwanese issue. I usually dont use that term and call them Chinese as well. Some are ok with it, others pull a tandrum on me and reply back: "I am not Chinese, I am Taiwanese!". It sounds like here, where some Quebequers would get angry if I called them Canadians... Taiwan originated from China, so I guess that is why there is some conflicts with the issue. We can perhaps compare it to Australia, or to the extreme, the States and Canada to England/France. Those are extreme cases where Taiwan and China are still more connected than they are.
Yup thats the point :)
 
im chinese as well but was born in amercica .. both parents are from china though

i never thought the taiwanese thing was a big deal (im pretty dumb) .. except theres one kid in our grade who is taiwanese and takes it as a huge insult to be called chinese

as for malaysian, singaporian, indonesian and all those other races you mentioned, i beleive they come under the catagory of "Asian" :D
 

Syxx

Diabloii.Net Member
Hi,

In New Zealand we have a number of Asian immigrants among our population. One part of this group of people are commonly referred to as the Chinese community. Visually you can not see whether they are from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Tiawan ... so they tend to be grouped under a common name of 'Chinese'.

This is not meant as a derogitory term, in fact most Chinese in NZ are thought of as being hard workers, and less criminally inclinded than other races, kiwis included.

Did I word the above well ? I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Regards
Syxx
 

~Kazama Fury~

Diabloii.Net Member
Not be offensive, just wanted to add this bit to my vocabulary.

I consider race to be the human race.
I consider Chinese, Taiwanese, Canadian, American, etc. to be an ethnic group or nationality.

So that would somewhat contradict the word 'racist' but there are other words in the English language which has such problems. There is a whole website on it, and I believe the word racist was also in the same category. If only I can find it... Ill post it if I do.
 

HAMC8112

Diabloii.Net Member
KnightFall said:
It's like syaing I'm English. I'm not, I was born in Wales so I'm Welsh.


KnightFall[/FONT]
I know the feeling, when people call me Belgian i start screaming that i am Flemish!
 

blu3l1ghtn1ng

Diabloii.Net Member
I think that these racial combinations happen because people are uneducated. I didn't know/still dont know of this whole Taiwan/Chinese thing. I can basically only tell the difference between a Filipino and the rest. Since I live in Canada, people in general I have found have accepted just being called Asian/Chinese because thats the majority. Not saying that its correct, its just how its worked out down here.
 

bustme

Diabloii.Net Member
StarStageGurl said:
does Chinese refer to a part of the Asian community including the Taiwanese, people from China, some Singaporean, some Malaysian, some Indonesians, etc.? Or does it refer to people from China only?
You are refering to the descendents of the Chinese emigrants living in those regions, right? Just wanted to clarify.

First. Of course it refers to the people across the world with a Chinese background. If I were Chinese and I moved to Thailand, do I lose my nationality or self consciousness of China? Nope. Your background, the history and character of your ethnic is what makes you, and that is what people take in mind when they see you, and thus is never treated lightly. Your personality, habits, character, etc. are molded and established by the organizations you are a part of, starting from nation and province, to school friends and family. The ethnic you are a part of are thousands and thousands of years old, which carried a culture (or multiple cultures) for a long period of time, establishing unique and distinctive characteristics, and you are the outcome. Background culture is never to be treated lightly. Even a country with weak international diplomatic power could have a louder voice if they have a rich and longlasted culture. China has one, and that's one of the reasons of their high self-conceit. US doesn't have one, and that sometimes has a negetive affect towards them, regardless of their great power. You yourself should be familiar with Chinese people thinking lightly of Americans, since their history is so much shorter than the 6,000 year old Chinese history. Your ethnical background is what makes you what you are, and that won't change wherever you go.

Second, which I daresay assume is the reason you came up with this question in the first place, is that not everyone can be categorized to be part of a singular ethnic. Globalization and immigration has blurred the boundaries of ethnics to a certian extent. In the US there are Japanese-American, in the UK there are Indian-English and so on. Their nationality might be American and Briton, but in their hearts they might see themselves as Japanese and Indian. And what if a Hungarian-American and a Korean in the US got married? Should you see their offspring as simply American, or Hungarian-Korean-American? My beliefs tilt toward the latter. Each family would carry the vestiges of their background, whether it's a last name or a heirloom or a traditional ceremony, and it should be respected. I once read an article a long time ago which matches what I just said. If I remember correctly, it was about the marriage of a Russian couple, only both familes of the newlyweds originated from another region. First they did a general western ceremony, then after that they did a traditional ceremony of the groom's family, and then that of the bride's. Of course they were exhausted after all the changing clothes and preparation of every ceremony and actually doing it all in one day, but they said it was important, both to them and to their two familes, to maintain their traditions. I myself am Korean, but I lived in NJ when I was 2 to 7. Even if I were born there and gotten myself a US citizenship, and I still lived there, I still would have concidered myself as much as Korean as American. Some would even consider themselves as wholly Korean, despite their citizenship. So the initial question maybe should have been not "does Chinese refer to a part of the Asian community including the Taiwanese, people from China, some Singaporean... etc.?" but "does being 'Chinese' include the part of the Asian community including the Taiwanese, people from China, some Singaporean... etc.?"

Sorry for all the long talk, but I just finished Anthony Gidden's 'Runaway World' and this is one of the after-affects.
 

raffster

Diabloii.Net Member
StarStageGurl said:
I just realized how many Asians there are in the OTF, so here is a question for you. (Of course non-Asians are more than welcome to respond) In your opinion, does Chinese refer to a part of the Asian community including the Taiwanese, people from China, some Singaporean, some Malaysian, some Indonesians, etc.? Or does it refer to people from China only?

I personally think Chinese refers to all these people, but many of my Taiwanese friends correct me when I call ourselves Chinese. So, what do you think? I'll state my reasons later on in this thread. Now I want to see what you guys think.
Most of my friends from the Philippines are Filipino-Chinese. Majority of them trace their roots to the Fuchien province of China, some from Hong Kong and some from Taiwan. They (and the their parents) seem to have to qualms about being simply referred to or called "Chinese" but they prefer to be called "Filipino-Chinese" rather than just "Chinese".

That being said, my Chinese friends and I have found it difficult to understand why Chinese not from the Philippines, especially those from China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong get irked f you don't call them from their country of origin. If what the Chinese are referred to is really such a big deal for them then where we find a China town there should also be Taiwan Town, Singapore Town, Hong Kong Town and actual "China" Town.

Language is also a common denominator for most Chinese people as my guess is that at least 90% of all Chinese speak either Cantonese and/or Mandarin.

My Filipino-Chinese friends think that all Chinese are Chinese wherever they are in the world. They call themselves Filipino in terms of nationality but Chinese in terms of roots, even though their parents were already born and raised in the Philippines.

I personally don't differentiate. If you speak Mandarin or Cantonese or any other Chinese dialect (like Shanghainese) and you have some semblance Jet Li or Michelle Yeow then you are a Chinese to me.
 

Rius666

Diabloii.Net Member
I am Chinese and I was born in China and moved here when I was 5. I only consider people from mainland China Chinese. If you call bascially everyone from south east Asia Chinese it's just wrong. Even though the people are similar they are different. I'm sure if you called someone from Singapore or Malaysia Chinese they might be offended, or at the very least correct you. Chinese is Chinese.

But if you're not sure what nationality an Asian person is then you might as well guess Chinese since there are 1.6 billion of us. Chances are you will guess it right. If they aren't Chinese then they are probably Korean or Japanese. Most of the Asians, at least around where i live, are either Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.
 
HAMC8112 said:
I know the feeling, when people call me Belgian i start screaming that i am Flemish!
I'm quite flemy right now myself. Damn cold.

Anywho if someone mislabels you don't sweat it. I would technically be of German descent, but I fall in the category of "White People".


If you wanted to get picky about it I'm not American, I'm Missourian.
 

mhl12

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm Chinese, even though I have a Korean avatar. lol (to all the ppl who know what it is, the movie is really good)

anyway, I don't think that "Chinese" refers to ppl in southern Asia such as Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesians, etc. That's because they are all their own countries and deserve their own nationalities and should not be confused with the stereotype that all Asians are Chinese.

However, Taiwan is a whole different issue. They are Chinese whether they say so or not. Why? That's because Taiwan is still officially part of China. People can argue with me as long as they can saying the what I said is not true but in the end, what I said is right. As of this day, Taiwan has not been recognized officially by other countries and the UN as a country of its own. So if Taiwan is not a country of its own, that means it is still part of China. Of course there are treaties and laws that limit the relationship between China and Taiwan but that does not mean that Taiwan is independent. So on a political and official stance, people in Taiwan are Chinese.

Also, the people of Taiwan are considered Chinese in a cultural way as well. All their ancestors were originally part of China in some way. It is less than a hundred years when the Nationalists moved to Taiwan to escape the Communist regime. Before then, the Nationalists and Communists were both only considered two different political parties but still were Chinese.

In the end, of course we cannot force the people Taiwan to decide that they are Chinese or Taiwanese because those are people's thoughts, but as we have all seen in the news, China will not give up Taiwan officially.

Anyway sorry if I have offended some people out there. I'm just trying to express my opinions. And if you have read my other post about me not getting into this argument in SSG's other thread, sorry. My dad forced me to write a lot of this. lol.
 

Geeno

Diabloii.Net Member
If you were talking labeling I would say first whatever country you live in, then whatever country you(family) is from, then whatever one you side with politically.


Like Im american. My dad and grandparents are from the ukraine, but they were russians.
 

zarikdon

Diabloii.Net Member
I think of "Chinese" as referring to the ethnicity, primarily. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I was born in the U.S., though my parents were born in China and moved here from Taiwan. Though I can see why lots of ethnic Chinese don't want to be referred to as such in Southeast Asia, e.g. in Indonesia where the ethnic Chinese minority sometimes gets persecuted because a number of them tend to be more successful financially than everyone else, it's an undeniable fact that lots of people in that area have ancestors who came from China. Of course, everyone is entitled to their choice of identity (among the options that are true), but it sometimes irks me when people strongly deny that they are Chinese "at all" even when I explicitly say that I'm referring to the ethnicity. I guess that's when politics and reality collide.

I will say little about Taiwan except that I generally agree with most of mhl's points. The cultural and social ties/similarities between Taiwan and mainland China are much stronger than anything that exists between, say, the ethnic community in the Philippines and the mainland. Thus, I generally think of "Taiwanese" as being a political term (as far as ethnicity goes), unless maybe the family in question is maybe descended from Taiwanese aborigines.
 
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