Ai-Men Lau
Thu Apr 15 23:00:39 +0000 2021

Just adding my two cents to this excellent thread.

I spent a lot of years grappling with my ethnicity.

Being Chinese was always a conundrum. I didn't really identify with being Chinese because being Chinese was framed as a monolithic narrative, primarily the Han Chinese ethnicity.

And that just didn't reflect my own experience of being "Chinese."

My family speaks a wide range of Sinitic languages that would be Chinese, but we can't understand each other.

While I identify as a Hong Konger, I also identify with my Malaysian-Chinese roots (Sarawak laksa all the way.)

Being "Chinese" was always a diverse experience for me.

I'm also part South Asian which uh:

While I was born in Canada, I lived in Thailand for nearly a decade and was very much that spoiled, rich international student (if you know you know).

That being said: #MilkTeaAlliance

I have lived the majority of my life in Canada. I consider Canada home, but even so, being Chinese-Canadian isn't accurate for me.

I've always felt a strong tie back to Asia while many of my other Canadian born Asian friends don't. And that's perfectly okay.

So being Chinese is not a singular identity for me. It's one shaped by a multitude of cultures, social norms, locations and languages.

I also really struggle these days with the politicization of being "Chinese."

The way politics and ethnicity/culture has become intertwined has been exhausting to navigate. I take great joy in exploring my ethnicity/culture, but these days it feels like I shouldn't.

Anyways, this long meandering thread was to highlight and provide insights into why this campaign is important. Chinese is far too singular to accurately reflect the diverse identities and realities.

More crucially, it's about how this definition erases who we are.

I am not Chinese. I am a Hong Konger and I'm taking it back.

Thu Apr 15 23:00:43 +0000 2021