“You Chinese”

What does “you Chinese” mean exactly?  I was having lunch one Sunday with a group of friends, somebody shared how her co-worker would tell her about an incident she experienced and there were Chinese folks involved.  Then she would ask, “Why do you Chinese always…?”

Now how exactly is a person supposed to answer that question.   It’s like “why do you Canadians always do such and such a thing” or “why do you Americans always act so blah blah blah?”

It boils down to stereotyping and overgeneralization.  What one person does is not representative of a group of people who are similar.  Conversely, what a group of people does is not representative of an individual.

We all have our own biases.  I was talking to one of my co-workers and she said that she noticed some of her own biases.  When she encounters certain persons, she instantly thinks “evil thoughts.”  Well, not totally evil, but she does think “what is this person after?”

I must admit I have the same engrained biases myself to certain groups of people.

What I have to remember is that the individual is not representative of a group of people (e.g. Pamela Anderson is not representative of all Canadians).Maybe the question should be, why did that particular group of people that time act a certain way.

That’s why intercultural interaction is very important.  The more we interact with other cultures, the more we start to understand where they are coming from.  I think the best entry to cultural interaction is food.  Bar none.  Food is a universal language that all people understand.

Pass me the fork….er… chopsticks….er….oh…this is hand only food…oh and don’t use my left hand….got it….er…I think.  Get what I mean?

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2 comments

  1. I think a lot of people are guilty of some biases and some stereotyping (just by saying that, i might be guilty myself, lol). But for the most part people keep that stuff to themselves… but after a couple of drinks… ermm…

  2. Well, this friend’s coworker wasn’t even after a couple of drinks. She was sober and at work. I think she doesn’t really notice the prejudice, it just shows up. I don’t think the coworker has anything consciously against Chinese, it’s just there is a subtle undercurrent of bias surfacing there.

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