Week 13: Who am I? (By Yannie)

Who am I??

Years ago, I liked to chat with foreign net friends with some communication tools on the Internet. When you first ‘meet’ with them, ‘where are you from?’ is always the first question on the window. What I always received is something like ‘I’ am from UK’, ‘I’m from Mexico’, and ‘I’m Spanish’. They never said which city they are from at first but which country. However, when they asked me where I am from. I always said ‘I am from Hong Kong.’ I never said ‘I am from China.’

However, many of them would then ask me ‘Where is Hong Kong?’ They don’t know where Hong Kong is or even never heard it. All the time I had to say ‘It’s in China.’ although I was not really willing to define it in this way. I would more likely to say ‘It’s a former British colony’, especially if they were from UK. I just tried to guide them to think what Hong Kong is in the way I think what it is. What I all hope was that they would know Hong Kong is different from China.

Why I would want them to know Hong Kong is Hong Kong and it’s different from China? Firstly, I was really growing up in British colony. The Governor, the top leader, of Hong Kong is always a British, such as Chris Patten. And I could see the British flag rising and hear British anthem when Lee Lai Shan got the gold medal at Olympic. No one had ever told me that I am a Chinese and I never saw the Chinese flag and listened to Chinese anthem in where I was living, Hong Kong. Growing up in such environment, how could I say’ I am a Chinese’ or ‘I come from China’?

Moreover, our lifestyle and value is different from Chinese. For example, we have freedom of speech, greater human rights and have a sound law system while people who have said something what the Central doesn’t like in China would probably find themselves in prison finally. The image of China to many foreigners is always negative. Chinese always produce ‘killer products’, such as toxic toys and poisoned milk, and fake products and counterfeits. I just wanted to tell them Hong Kong is not that bad, not that negative.

Anyway, with my experience, they don’t care what Hong Kong is and what the difference between Hong Kong and China. They didn’t care whether Hong Kong was a British colony. Hong Kong is China. China is China. That’s all.

At that time, I had to realize that in their eyes I was a Chinese. And I had to admit that ‘I’m Chinese.’

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