Author: gangsta

Is it Racism to be called Foreigner or Laowai in China? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-2-26 17:21:34 |Display all floors
Originally posted by pandamonium at 2007-2-26 19:14
" Please teacher, what's an oxymoron?" ...

A. Changabula, Jetsam, Northwest, Mengzhi, CaringHK.......
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2007-2-26 17:48:57 |Display all floors
Then..
are you discriminating them when you call them Laowai?
I AM NOT...

It is just the way you call them...a friendly way

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Post time 2007-2-26 20:39:07 |Display all floors

Reply #75 ivy20025's post

Just warning you, many of us non-Chinese in China don't like the term.  And, what constitutes a "laowai" anyway?  A non-Han?  If I was born in Hong Kong (a person of European descent), would it be alright for me to be called "laowai"?  Maybe it's okay for Americans to see any non-white person they see and assume they are "laowai" too.
Individuality: Always Remember That You Are Unique.  Just Like Everybody Else.

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Post time 2007-2-26 21:27:42 |Display all floors
just warning me??
warn??
I don't know if I can understand you correctly..
If I translate it into Chinese,,,It just sounds too offensiveeeee,,,

I haven't talked to foreigners,,,,
And I didn't hear any Cantonese call Foreigners as Laowai,,,
I just hear it's a Manderine saying...

So warning???
I don't think I had done anything offensive.,...
And I didn't intended to...

So I don't quite understand....

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Post time 2007-2-26 21:43:04 |Display all floors
Originally posted by bossel at 2007-2-24 01:24

The trouble is that the PC crowd obviously has severe problems with understanding such horrible concepts as "context".


Yeah, I guess so. Too bad, because life is so much nicer spent NOT constantly angry and nitpicking at every little thing.

When there's a language barrier we really shouldn't assume a word is always offensive or always positive either. For us foreigners who do not speak fluent chinese on a regular basis in china, we really shouldn't be too offended at a *word*. We don't understand the language very deeply. We should look more at behavior. Some of the behaviors panda mentioned are rude, regardless of whether or not the word laowai was used. And I've heard laowai used perfectly innocently at friends. So c'mon foreigners, let's lighten up and not get stressed about something we don't even know much about. Fine, get upset at the behavior that goes with it, I might too, but let's not create another 'bad word' in the world just because it's *sometimes* used rudely.

It's not even our language, how can we say a word is "bad"?

[ Last edited by freakyqi at 2007-2-26 09:48 PM ]
I am not rich.  :L

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Post time 2007-2-27 12:05:23 |Display all floors

Reply #77 ivy20025's post

I've been in China for more than two years now and I'm telling you, "Laowai" isn't taken too kindly by many of us non-Chinese living or working over here (of course it's putonghua).  And yes, I am warning you that "Laowai" is offensive to many... maybe not all, because when I first came to China I was a bit clueless and didn't think much about the term "laowai."  But, I won't stand for it anymore.
Individuality: Always Remember That You Are Unique.  Just Like Everybody Else.

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Post time 2007-2-27 12:33:43 |Display all floors

No comparisons

If a Chinese guy goes to work in the UK he can never experience the same thing as a white UK person coming to work in China

because in the UK people will not be able to tell if he is local (born and bred) or a visitor just arrived from the airport by just looking at him, and they will not assume anything. So he will be unoticed by the vast majority of people - except for the lunatic right wingers (Nazis etc) but he is unlikely to run into them, especially during the day/evening.

It may be another kind of problem for a Chinese visitor in the UK when he is ignored and treated like a local when he is not, but the point is that it is almost impossible for a Chinese person to imagine what it is like to be a whitie and work in China

and similarly it is almost impossible for a Chinese person (who hasn't lived much outside China)  to imagine why "loa wei" might upset some foreigners.

So I feel there will never be agreement on this.
"We know it's weakness, but the weakness is so strong!"

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