Being Chinese and watching the Chinese Olympics

August 24, 2008 10:50 PM

The fireworks over the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing

Watching the Chinese Olympics during the past 2 weeks, and especially the opening and closing ceremonies where Chinese art and culture were represented so impressively, I can’t help but feel a tinge of pride of being Chinese. Even though I’m two generations removed from my Chinese roots (born in Malaysia, transplated to Australia), culturally I’m Chinese even though by nationality, I’m Australian.

Like I’m sure how an Irish, Greek or Italian Australian would feel when something special happens in their motherlands, so it was that I felt pride by association. But of course, lest we forget there are still many problems within and outside of China. The issue of Tibet, the enormous gap between the rich and sophisticated urbanites and the poor and disenfranchised in the city slums and rural areas; cultural suppression of ethic minorities; indirect Chinese sponsorship of African dictatorships in exchange for steady supplies of raw materials and fuel.

So yeah, China has put on a great show for us during the past 16 days. But when the factories open tomorrow, and the roads clogged with vehicles and the air becomes murky with pollution again, let’s hope that China can create a clean and harmonious environment in and around itself, metaphorically and literally, without having to resort to a show to distract us from the reality.

9 thoughts on “Being Chinese and watching the Chinese Olympics

  1. adeline

    hey i felt the same about being chinese..fully agree with ya!
    born in penang, bred in’s hard to disseminate my roots although I grew up in a liberal environment! 🙂

    thanks mooi..and also your cousin’s wedding shots..boy, reminds me of hometown 🙂

  2. teabie

    Yeah, I felt that momentary surge of pride as a Chinese, esp when the Australian commentators talked about the numerous inventions the Chinese could claim. And then, tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be hiding my face when a Cheena man spits on the streets in Melbourne. Oops. 🙂

  3. LupinTan

    I manage to catch the closing ceremony. and the online version of the opening ceremony.

    Personally, I prefer the opening ceremony. It’s more grand.

    This two week to me, is a show. A show of Chinese culture and arts. Just as the controvery of Digitalise Fireworks and Lip-synching little girl, we had to wait and see how china progress after this world event.

    At the very event itself, I would like to congratulate everyone on a job well done.

  4. mooiness Post author

    adeline: yup sometimes it’s quite tricky trying to state where our sense of belonging lies but us overseas Chinese – that’s what we go through. 🙂

    herman: and let’s hope for even better things to come out of it.

    teabie: hahah well said! it can be quite embarassing sometimes. but maybe the civics lesson that the Beijing ppl went through – smile more, queue up and don’t spit – will make a permanent change.

    Lupin: yeah being exposed to the whole world on such a grand scale, I believe can only be a good thing for China.

  5. sourrain

    Yeah I’s been a weird two weeks, seeing that I caught most of the Olympics at work. My collegues are slightly confused at where my loyalties lie – and most of them being born and bred british with years of verifiable heritage behind them, do not understand why am I supporting China.

    Having language, cuture and food ties with the great middle earth country called China, I am glad that I have been raised a Chinese, even if I was not born in China. And I have given up explaining to the people at work my ‘chinese ties’ – they keep thinking that I am from inner china. Or inner jungle malaysia.Until we go to a dim sum restaurant of course.

  6. mooiness Post author

    sourrain: well, you can support a lot of different countries. Like for me, I can root for Malaysia, China and Australia. 🙂

    Heheh inner jungle eh. Boy, you’ve told me about small town British folk before and it still cracks me up every time. I dunno why if they can understand an English person of Greek heritage, they can’t grasp the concept of overseas Chinese.


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