Business Insider, ChinaSMACK, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, 8asians, James Fallows.
This is a series of photos I took on the street for a post looking at being an Australian of Chinese heritage, living in China. If you don’t know what I look like already, take a guess at which one is me!
There have been a fair few people – foreigners and Chinese – who tell me that despite the fact that ethnically I’m 100% Chinese, that I look ‘foreign’ or overseas-born. Be that due to my style of dress, mannerisms or even my looks. But usually I dismiss them by saying they only think that because they’ve already met me, so my ‘inner whiteness’ is colouring their judgement.
I’m willing to admit one may be able to identify overseas born Chinese from the Mainland Chinese, particularly if that country is part of the developed world such as the United States, Canada and Australia. Perhaps, on average, they’re more likely to be taller, have shinier teeth, dress in a certain way, and carry themselves differently – products of having grown up in the environment that they have. (Something that The Atlantic Monthly’s James Fallows addressed when Chinese-American students were used as stand-ins for Mainland Chinese students in a television ad.)
But these are minor details that tend to become obvious after the fact. That is after you hear the accent, or if you’re on the lookout for overseas-born-Chinese. Day to day I completely pass for a Chinese person and my foreign accent comes as a total shock to people.
Oh and by the way, I’m in the top-right hand corner, or number three!
Business Insider, July 23, 2011.
ChinaSMACK, July 12, 2011.
Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, July 5, 2011.
8asians, June 30, 2011.
Plus repostings of the slideshow on the blog of James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly.