Chairman Wow!

November 15, 2009

Racism and Stuff Chinese People Like

Filed under: Uncategorized — Carly J Hallman @ 8:28 am

loujingMany Chinese proudly proclaim, “There’s no racism in China.” And in a country in which one racial group comprises 98% of the population, it’s largely true. However, as China opens to the world, more and more mixed race babies are born into Chinese families. Take, for example, 20-year old Lou Jing.

Lou Jing, dubbed the “Chocolate Girl” by Chinese Internet users, was a contestant on DragonTV’s Idol-esque singing contest, Oriental Angel. Jing sang her way to the top 12, but her voice was largely overshadowed by her heritage– she was born to a Chinese mother and an African-American father. And in a country in which racial purity is the norm and snow-white skin is considered highly desirable, Jing’s mocha skin made her the object of much ridicule and debate. Jing emphasized on the show that she was just like any other Chinese girl– raised in a traditional Mandarin-speaking Shanghai family (her father moved back to the US before her birth).

Although she didn’t win the show, Jing’s high-profile presence has opened up race discussion in China. With her African-queen appearance and fluent Mandarin speech, many Chinese are now asking themselves a question that must be answered as China continues its rise to world super-power status: What does it REALLY mean to be Chinese?

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