Sunday, March 08, 2009

Against your own kind (part one)

I like to think I'm an open-minded person, willing to accept people for their beliefs and behaviour. It should come natural for me, having lived in three different countries (although very Westernized in nature) during my childhood and having been surrounded by people from various nations during my school years, first in an international school and then a boarding school. Additionally several years with depression has allowed me to experience what it is like to be a psychiatric patient. I find it especially difficult to comprehend why doctors and medical students still hold some stigmatization of psychiatric patients.

Yet I do have one prejudice in life. I am ashamed to admit it but I whenever I meet people of this nature I instinctively roll my eyes and look down upon them. It's not Mormons or evangelists I despise. I can understand their intentions in spreading the word of the Bible, even though they might piss off some people along the way with some ill-advised methods. I can tolerate Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester Unitd fans, knowing football fanaticism is a delusional state which very few can escape from. All football fans think their team is the best in the world and will religious defend their club to the extremes of insanity.

The kind of prejudice I usually infect is somewhat strange - I'm prejudice against people from China.

Yes, I'm racist towards my own race. I would have to clarify my prejudice. I'm somewhat look down on people from Mainland China. I don't have any problem of people generally from Hong Kong, although people who know me well know I don't like Hong Kong compared to other countries. I get along fine with any Chinese people who were brought up abroad, like USA or UK, seeing they have a similar background and upbringing compared to me. Neither am I belittling the achievements of the Chinese and their culture. I have a great respect for Chinese arts, thinking the youth of today have no appreciation for such things with the bastardification of the Chinese language. I know the Chinese people invented paper money, the printing press and fireworks in the past, showing they were light years ahead of their Western counterparts.

Yet whenever a Chinese person starts talking Putonghua to me, wherever it is a patient or a doctor, I just automatically think, "Go back over the border." I know I shouldn't be thinking like this way. I'm a great believer of open borders. People should be allowed to immigrate/emigrate to other countries for political, social or economic reasons. In fact I'm a benefactor of such immigration policies, having become a British citizen and my brother can claim Australian nationality if he wanted to.

There are some people who take liberty with these immigration policies. One example is right here in Hong Kong. Pregnant woman from Mainland China come to Hong Kong to give birth, so their child can benefit from free health care and education. I'm sure USA suffer from the same problem with Mexican mothers and some other countries probably have the same dilemma. Yet the problem continues up the ladder, with people from China coming to Hong Kong, intending to find work but just winding up on the dole, claiming benefits and living in free housing. They never intend to find work in the first place. I know a vast majority of Mainlanders do actually get work, finding the kind of employment Hong Kong people don't want. It is the minority who give the majority a bad name.

What really gets on my nerve about Mainlanders is the behaviour and manners... which I will write about next time because I need to calm down before I past out due to excessive anger.

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