Growing up Asian in Australia Extracts
HUMOUR FROM THE BBC WEB SITE
"The youngsters who are born here have more problems than we have. They do not have access to the culture like we did. They have to be brought up by a family with expectations which they have no understanding of. They find it very difficult to speak Cantonese or whatever dialect they speak at home. They speak English, but they look totally different from their white counterparts. They are British but they still suffer form discrimination. And yet they cannot fall back on another culture and be proud of that because they do not know what it is"
from a bbc website
"Firstly, not least to dispel the negative views, stereotypes and clichés of Chinese in the media. Personally, I’m tired of seeing our community portrayed only as takeaway owners/workers, illegal immigrants, triad members, pirated DVD hawkers, martial artists, geeks and gamblers. Yes, we have elements of all of that, good and bad, but it’s not the whole picture of who we are as British Chinese"
From the Dim Sum website
"If Heaven Made Him, Earth Can Find Some Use For Him"
Taken from the book "Sweet Mandarin"
extracts taken from others
" If there was ever anyone I wanted to stab in the heart with a chopstick,
It was my cousin David. 'What happened to the four per cent? my mother
says, looking at my maths exam. I got ninrty-six. What else do you want?'
'Dont talk back, 'my mother snaps. 'Ninety-six isn't 100. If you want to do
well you have to try harder. David just got 99.9 on HSC.' i dig my nails into
my chair and wait for the punchline. 'He asked me to ring up the school
board and contest the score. Ha! Imagine that. The lady on the phone
laughed.' My mother shakes her head in wonder, as though David is the
god of a new religion she's folling. 'It really was 100,' she says
confidentially. 'They had to scale it down for the school.' Usually Chinese
parents dont have bragging rights over other people's children, but my
mother tutored David through high school, so his HSC score is her
crowning victory. My maths exam, with a scrawled red '96' that I was so
proud of, begins to look ratty. Untidy figures rush across the.................
By Vanessa Woods
"He grabs his seat, he looks at his fellow participants, they are all overseas Chinese. He can tell by the way they are dressed and even by the way they look. He hears a few of them speaking 'Canadians, Aussies, Americans and a few Mancunians here and there' he thinks to himself. The room is quiet, there is a nervous silence, the participants heads are lowered with a hint of shame. Each one slowly speaks in turn, mumbled and tortured voices. 'OK, Mike it is your turn to speak', the sweat hangs off his nose and forehead. He stands to speak, slowly but surely he utters those dreaded words that he has been wanting to say for years. 'Hi, my name is Mike and I am a banana in HK.I am yellow on the outside but white on the inside and my Cantonese is crap. I have many other symptoms; people think I am being arrogant or stupid that I can't speak Cantonese properly, but I just find languages hard. I don't ever claim to be English but every one here calls me a gwailo. When I am in England, I don't really say I am Chinese but some people call me a 'chink'. Local Chinese and Westerners don't understand this condition though some claim to be experts on the matter. I am crap at maths, languages and physics, and have no aims to become an accountant, engineer, or rocket scientist. I would like to have a BMW eventually but it is going to be black and not bright yellow or green and I really am not going to spend 10 million dollars to get a 888888 number plate. I treat the maids in HK as human beings and will never
Article from the bbc website
The Relative Advantages of Learning My Language
I was never particularly kind to my grandfather. He was my mother’s father, and he lived with us when I was a teenager. I remember him coming into the lounge room one night, and when he went to sit down, I said to my brother, ‘I hope he doesn’t sit down.’ I didn’t think my grandfather understood much English, but he understood enough, and as I watched, he straightened up again, and without a word, returned to his room. I was twelve years old. My grandfather wrote poetry on great rolls of thin white paper with a paintbrush. He offered to read and explain his poems to me several times over the years, but I only let him do it once. I’d let my Chinese go by then, which made listening to him too much of an effort. Though I was raised speaking Chinese, it wasn’t long before I lost my language skills. I spoke English all day at school, listened to English all night on TV. I didn’t see the point of speaking Chinese. We lived in Australia. Monday to Friday, Grandad went to the city, dressed in a suit with a waistcoat, a hat, and carrying his walking stick. He would take the bus to the station, the train to the city, the tram to Little Bourke Street. On Mondays, he’d be sitting at a large round table at Dragon Boat Restaurant with other old Chinese men. Tuesdays to Fridays, he was at a small square table by himself with a pot of tea and the Chinese newspaper. I watched him leave in the morning and come back in the afternoon, as punctual and as purposeful as any school kid or office worker, for years.
One afternoon, he didn’t come home until well after dark. We assumed he’d got off the bus at the wrong stop or had turned into the wrong
street at some point, forcing him to wander around for a bit before finding his way home. A month after that, he tried to let himself into a stranger’s house. It looked just like our house. The yellow rose bush, the painted timber mailbox, even the Ford Falcon parked out the front were the same. But it was the home of a gentle Pakistani couple who let him use the phone to call us. Two months after that, he fell and hit his head on some-thing. When he didn’t come home, Mum and I drove around looking for him. We finally found him stumbling along in the dark, two kilometres from the house. There was a trickle of blood down the side of his face. From that day forward, Grandad was only allowed to go
to the city if someone accompanied him. Once or twice during the school holidays that task fell to me. After rinsing out his milk glass, Grandad would pick up his walking stick and head out into the street. I’d folfollow, a few steps behind. He wasn’t aware of me. He wasn’t aware of the milk on his lip, the upside-down watch on his wrist, the scrape of branches against his coat. He had a blank, goofy, content expression on his face, and turned instinctively into platform five when he was at the train station and into Dragon Boat Restaurant when he was on Little Bourke Street. When he was about to board the wrong tram or turn round the wrong corner, I’d step forward to take him by the elbow and steer him back on course. He’d smile innocently and seem glad to see me. ‘Hello there, Amy. Finished school already?’ Then he’d look away and forget I was ever there. He’d been diagnosed with a brain tumour and, three months later, he died. At the funeral, my sadness was overshadowed by a sense of regret. I’d denied my grandfather the commonest of kindnesses. I was sixteen years old. I am now twenty-six. A few weeks ago, during a family dinner at a Chinese restaurant, the waiter complimented my mum on the fact that I was speaking to her in Chinese. The waiter told Mum with a sigh that his own kids could barely string a sentence together in Chinese. Mum told the waiter I had stopped speaking Chinese a few years into primary school, but that I had suddenly started up again in my late teens.
I have often wondered how aware my mum is of the connection between Grandad’s death and my ever-improving Chinese. Whenever I am stuck for a word, I ask her. Whenever I am with her, or relatives, or a waiter at a Chinese restaurant, or a sales assistant at a Chinese department store, I practise. I am constantly adding new words to my Chinese vocabulary, and memorising phrases I can throw into a conversation at will. It is an organic way of relearning a language. Textbooks and teachers are not necessary, since I am only interested in mastering the spoken word. I am not interested in the written word or in the many elements of Chinese culture of which I am ignorant. I am not trying to ‘discover my roots.’ I am simply trying to ensure that the next time an elderly relative wants me to listen to them, I am not only willing, I am able.
Extracts taken from the book "Growing up Asian in Australia"
I am writing a book based on the Chinese in Britain.
I AM LOOKING FOR:
Interesting stories based on your own experiences in what it means to be Chinese living in Britain. It could be based on anything. Moments you feel are interesting which you can share for others. I am aiming to create an anthology which encompasses as much diverse insight as possible with writers coming from all walks of life for example:
A story about a kung fu master teaching in Britain
A gamblers story
Story about the Chinese brought up in Britain and how they face cultural differeinces and expectations
Gok Wans story about what it means to be fat, Chinese and gay!
Story by an oversea Chinese student studying and working in Britain
Story and expereince from an illegal worker in Britain
Fengshui masters story
A Chinese going to China to work and live
600-1100 words long and to be as honest as possible.
To make the story more interesting and fun to read, You can add some sense of humour to it and be creative with your writing.
Stories will be red thoroughly to see if its acceptable before submitting and there could be possible changes to it which i will inform you on.
Please summit your story to this e mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org