I'm on an extended visit back to my hometown, Vancouver, a Canadian city full of Chinese. Chinese is the second-most commonly used language after English. My wife and I were running around a Chinese mall for fun to practice Mandarin and buy some Chinese DVDs when we overheard Chinese people talking about us in Mandarin saying, "Those foreigners are speaking Chinese!" I … [Read more...] about (Letter from Joel) How should foreigners feel about being called “鬼子,” “鬼佬,” “老外,” etc.?
I have a growing suspicion that the way many Chinese people understand the word "racism" (or "racist") is quite different from the way I use it. This causes communication problems because I use the term "racism" like most North Americans do, but my Chinese acquaintances react in ways that don't seem to make sense. Obviously there's a disconnect. I want to know why my … [Read more...] about (Letter from Joel) Understanding popular Chinese notions about “racism” (help me out here!)