Asians stick with each other? You do too
I have heard a lot of sayings that when Asians go abroad or even quite a lot of the Asians who were born and raised in other countries tend to simply stick with each other and have very narrow social circles within the Asian communities. I cannot deny that this is the majority of the situation happening as I have seen in Canada. Even though some Asians were born as a Canadian, their parents have the same friends or participate in the same community with other people who share the same culture. As a result, their children have been restricted or grew up also with the other Asian children. Even in school, as a lot of the Canadians might want to deny and insist on proving their multi-cultureless, but segregation does, in a way, subconsciously exist in a wide range of communities. Asian parents might require their kids to have better grades, procrastinate less, and participate in sports or activities that favor their own preferences and their own path of educating their kids. Thus it is totally understandable that these phenomena happen. However, in HKU, a lot of the foreign students also stick with each other and merely step out of their comfort zone to make some “Asian friends” and be “diverse”.
I do not mean to target those who really make an effort to intergrade into local communities here and I sincerely respect them. They broke out of their comfort zone and accepted challenges to beat down a lot of their own values. It is very difficult since people have very diverse cultures and many of the students don’t have the same mindsets as foreigners. For example, if you come here for exchange, you probably want to just piss everything off and enjoy the lifestyle of a live fast die young student in Hong Kong and go home with a “far east” experience to tell your friends about. But the reality is, some of you stick with each other all the time as well!! My friend was just telling me how in a lecture of HKU, there were a lot of international students, or as she described as “all the white people”. When the professor told everybody to form groups, all the “white people” just naturally walked towards each other from every corner of the classroom and it instantly became a racial segregated class. I hear a lot of comments saying that “local students or Chinese students are not inclusive or accepting of foreigners, except those really “white washed” ones.” Well, if you yourself did not even try to really break through your own comfort zones, how can you make the judgment? I agree that it is difficult because a lot of Chinese students are shy, and also standing on the contrary end of this uncomfortable zone experiencing the same things. But then there is really nobody to blame.
Another thing that kind of annoys me is that foreigners say we take random pictures when we are traveling. But the truth is, you do the same when you are in China!!! From a “funny pin-yin that sounds like some stupid word to old people napping on benches or even just a bunch of Chinese people, you would feel like it is a picture-worth-taking moment. How come you have never heard a Chinese person calling you “weird”? Perhaps we are more forgiving and more accepting in this sense! And also, I have seen foreigners carrying an umbrella under the sun!
I am really not accusing anybody. It is just some of my complaints from all my lovely ,lovely international friends I have made in my life that really inspired me in a lot of ways. But maybe sometimes, we all need to drop our own cultural biases and see the world fairer.