Author: gangsta

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

Rank: 4

Post time 2007-2-22 06:10:13 |Display all floors
But it is disgusting and shameful, even more so when they do it abroad

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Post time 2007-2-23 05:37:39 |Display all floors

Labels....

Calling someone something they don't like to be called is unacceptable and a form of racism when it involves a specific (ethnic) group of people.  The Japanese used to be called "Japs" during World War 2 and I don't think the term was meant as a form of racism at the time - it was simply an abbreviation.  But today the term "Jap" is considered unacceptable and racist.  There are many other examples of terms like this that started out innocent but later became annoying and racist.....

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Post time 2007-2-23 10:19:38 |Display all floors

Question to Funky_dunc

What do you mean exactly about the Korean in Nanjing?
Also, if people are basing the reason they are calling a person a foreigner or laowai on their race it is racism. In general it doesn't necessarily mean hate but it is still racism based on lack of exposure to international standards. Many people in mainland China are educated that anyone who isn't yellow is a foreigner or laowai. As a number of people have become Chinese citizens or were born in China, Chinese people still consider them to be foreigners.
It seems strange when you think of it because one of the largest immigrant populations in almost every country of the world is descendants of China. No one in the country of their citizenship would ever question them about their nationality or the fact that they are a local in that country and certainly no one would ever call them a foreigner.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-2-23 13:39:59 |Display all floors

#58 good point

I don't know what to make of all these names. I don't really care too much. How can we know what to call people? If, like Mark069 said, we start out calling a group something just because we need a name for them, it's innocent at first. What makes it bad? Some people getting mad because they're labeled? Sure racism & stereotyping is bad, but when does a name become 'bad', and what makes it bad?

Depends on the CONTEXT, too....
A chinese friend was talking about me to another chinese person and referred to me as a laowai. I trust that this person doesn't mean any harm, I just thought, "Hmm, I guess it's not a bad word after all, at least not all the time." I know they weren't talking bad about me.

In the US, I might be having a conversation about people who are not US citizens, and I might say, "When foreigners come to america, blah blah...." and it's ok. But if I'm driving my car and an indian person wearing a sari cuts in front of me causing me to stop short, and I say, "damn foreigners!", it's different.
I am not rich.  :L

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Post time 2007-2-24 01:24:02 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-2-25 04:04:34 |Display all floors
you are guessing from appearance ,as a Chinese,i can sure tell you that  the word laowai has nothingto do with racism, in fact,we call our most respectable foreign friends as laowai too, even officially. maybe I will call myself laowai in other country.
Till now,there are very few  foreign people (refer to different skin color)in china compared to your country,so Chinese give a general name to foreigner. in small cities or villages,most Chinese have still never seen foreigners,this is why they will stare at you.
Don't confuse impoliteness with racism,Frankly,many uneducated Chinese or bad merchants will have rude behaviors,but they actually don't know racism at all.pretty please understand those people.China is still a developing country.
:):):)

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-2-25 06:03:58 |Display all floors
Originally posted by land_yu at 2007-2-25 06:04
China is still a developing country....

I keep hearing this excuse for all sorts of things. But then I read how China has 5000 years of history, has invented everything there is to invent, and had been civilised for millenia whilst western Europeans were still primitive cavemen.

I wish they'd make up their minds!
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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