Jul 22

Zhang Ziyi – What’s in a name?

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:culture, General | Tags:, , ,
88 Comments » newest 2013-04-30 06:28:08

Zhang Ziyi was recently interviewed on a Chinese TV network:

She said (in translation):

The first time I was the lead in an English-language film, I received some high praise. And especially as a Chinese person, I thought that was something to be proud of.

At the Cannes Film Festival, in front of all that media, then they call your name… And as a Chinese person, they then call you by your Chinese name… I was pretty emotional. I’ve never thought about changing my name, changing it to an English name. I’ve never thought about adopting an English name just to accommodate them.

My father and mother gave me my name. It’s mine, and if you want to remember me, you have to put some thought into how to pronounce it. It’s mine.

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Jul 03

What does it mean to be Chinese?

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:, , ,
302 Comments » newest 2016-04-07 04:56:14

Seems like a simple enough question. Actually… while the question of what it means to be Chinese is very simple, it is all of the numerous, equally valid answers that make the issue complicated. We have to accept that there are different answers for different people.

Here is one answer, translated from a post written by an American-raised Chinese on MITBBS (原贴):

I was eating lunch with a good friend (both a colleague and a classmate) a few days ago. He’s a true Englishman, having lived in England from birth through university. Although he’s now attending school with me in the United States, he naturally does so with the identity of an Englishman. Whereas I, as an ethnic Chinese person raised in the United States, have in his eyes been categorized as an “American”. And I will often correct him by saying “I’m Chinese”. This time, when the topic popped up again, he laughed and asked: “From your point of view, what is a Chinese person?”

I believe “Chinese” has three different meanings.

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Jun 28

The Chinese debate – Part 1: The West

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:Letters | Tags:, , ,
37 Comments » newest 2008-07-04 14:34:59

One of our myriad goals for this blog was to make one simple point: the Chinese debate politics. The Chinese community debate eloquently and foolishly, intelligently and blindly, informed and uninformed, left and right, China and West… the Chinese are not brain-washed robots living in a closed society; we often disagree, often very passionately. To make this point, we talked about the divide between “old and little generals“; we talked about the Chinese that love America; we talked about Tianya, one of the bastions of online debate in China; and we of course had a long series about the deeply divisive issue of Six Four

Debate is important, because debate is the foundation of true knowledge and true conviction; without opening yourself up to true debate and reconsideration, any knowledge or conviction is suspect. Most in the West have never seen the Chinese debate political issues, so our conclusions are often ignored for exactly the reason. The more that we explain what the Chinese debate about, the more we will gain respect (if not agreement)… and gradually, we can erase Western bias and ignorance. And even more importantly, the better we’ll know what we want from our own country.

Thanks to one our visitors (Traveler, Youzi, 游子), this debate has been brought to our blog (see comment in previous thread).

In terms of the problem with Western media’s “bias”, different Chinese can have different feelings. For overseas Chinese, because they exist in a different cultural environment, it’s easy for them to develop some isolation while interacting with locals. Minorities will often feel more sensitive about mainstream media’s criticisms. In reality, the same reaction can be seen in China’s interior as well. Furthermore, outsiders always feel discriminated against by locals, and the most basic reason is a cultural gap. This sort of discrimination due to the cultural gap is a very common phenomenon, and can only be erased through integration. Clearly, any sort of specific discrimination that causes injury or loss, can be rectified through a lawsuit seeking economic compensation. Therefore, the discrimination due to cultural differences in the West should be resolved by law if effective rule of law exists; cultural problems can only be resolved through cultural interaction.

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May 25

“Canada, I’d like to say goodbye”

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:culture | Tags:
26 Comments » newest 2008-09-06 02:46:36

Over the past three decades, hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese have emigrated to Western countries. In the United States, many enter using a graduate student or lab researcher visa, and after several years of hard (nearly unpaid work), most eventually stay on in their host country after graduation. Those who stay apply and receive the right to work locally, and many eventually formally emigrate and take on citizenship. In Canada, the path to emigration is even easier.

However as the standard of living in China has steadily improved in the last 5-10 years, this trend shows signs of changing and perhaps even reversing. Some of those who now come to the West show little interest in staying after their studies are over; even some of those with successful careers in the West believe their opportunities are even greater within China.

This is the story of one man who thinks he might be happier returning to China.

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May 18

Who is Tang Buxi?

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:q&a | Tags:
26 Comments » newest 2008-10-20 07:47:50

A regular poster asked me to talk a little about myself in a previous thread.

I don’t want to get into a long discussion of my history, life, and professional resume (or at least not at this time).  But I do want to explain why I’m active here, and why I’m contributing to this blog.

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