Hi, everyone, I'm a gril from China. I don't think I'm belonging to URM group, but still I write a diversity statement. One of my Canadian friends told me that my DS sounds too strong and a bit of racism and I'd better start a new one. I want to know your opinions. How do you guys feel about my DS? Is it really that bad? I need your suggestions!!
The following is my DS~
With black hair, black eyes and yellow skin, I am not very different from most of people around in Hong Kong, except for the language. Mandarin, the Chinese official language which is different from Cantonese spoken a lot in Hong Kong, exposes my identity. It means that I am from Chinese Mainland, as an “inlander” named by Hong Kong people. In Hong Kong, I do not dare to speak mandarin, as I may be labeled with many disgusting identities, for example, “locust” that means rich but rude people from Chinese Mainland who only purchase luxuries, and “girl from the North” that means a girl from Chinese Mainland providing sex service in a nightclub. No, I am neither the locust nor the girl from the North.
But, speaking mandarin brings me these insulting labels over and over. I still remember one day I stood on the sidewalk, calling up my mom with mandarin, later several men walked around me. They spoke poor mandarin and asked “Hey, chick, how much?” I was so scared and cried for a long time. I don’t understand why I come to this place where it belongs to China but the people with Chinese faces here discriminate Chinese, and prefer to be the British. Yes, they are preconceived to treat their own compatriots, the Chinese from the Mainland. To escape from the discrimination, I began to speak English in public places, no matter in a supermarket or a hotel. I tried to use language to obscure my identity, and I tried hard to let others take me as a Japanese or South Korean.
However, a business trip to Teheran completely changed my perception. At the beginning of this year, a business trip to Teheran was accessible for my project team. Before departure, I was very worried about the safety. In my mind, Iran was the country full of terrorists and extreme Islamists. And it was not until I experienced a lot in Teheran that I realized how stupid I was.
On the day we arrived at Teheran, a lot of Teheran women were demonstrating peacefully. Local people told me that the women demanded to abolish a law that in Islamism, women must wear turbans, because they thought the law was unenlightened to suppress their freedom for beauty. In addition, I found there were many TOEFL training billboards beside streets in Teheran. Feeling surprised, I asked a local person:” why is there TOEFL training? Don’t you hate America? ” However, this Teheran young man answered me in English:” No, most of us don’t hate America, conversely, we appreciate this country; we don’t understand why Americans hate us. The Ahmadinejad’s government cannot represent our opinions, we are eager to go to America and learn advanced civilization.” I heard that and thought about what I saw in Teheran, suddenly, I realized I was preconceived to treat them, just as the Hong Kong people are preconceived to treat me. It seems that I made the same mistake carelessly. I never contacted with any Iranian before, but I labeled them with “terrorism” or “radicalism” that was labeled by media.
A sage said that “what we see governs what we think”. People’s eyes are instinctively narrow. If you don’t experience by yourself, how can you get the reality? We thought we could understand the whole world through Internet, but in fact, what we see are pictures carefully selected by political organizations and media. So to speak, we are actually persons of narrow view. When I returned to Hong Kong, I began to tolerate the discrimination, and I would not obscure my identity. I began to show pictures and texts of Chinese Mainland to my Hong Kong friends in Facebook, and liberally speak Mandarin in metro instead of English, and tell the pregnant and the old in Mandarin that you can sit down on my position.
For my upcoming study life in America, I don’t know whether I will be discriminated or not as a Chinese, for example, labeled with “rude”, “bad hygiene” or “dishonesty” that is criticized by Romney in his president campaign. But, I will no longer pretend to be a Japanese or South Korean, oppositely, I am so brave and confident to contact with my schoolmates, professors, even everyone lived in America as a Chinese. I will tell them the long history of Eastern civilization, and show them a polite, environment-caring and honest Chinese girl. I think, at some moment, they may realize like I did that we cannot understand this world by Internet only, we must experience and contact to get the reality. I will let more schoolmates feel a diverse China from myself. I believe, this will be my contribution to the diversity of ** University.