I mean my ancestors probably are from China many many many years ago. Both my grandparents are born and grew up in Singapore, both my parents are born and grew up in Singapore, me and my sister are born and grew up in Singapore too. What is our race? Chinese. What is our native language? English and Chinese. What is our nationality? Singaporeans.
But what irks me sometimes is that I can mistaken for being a Chinese from China. It’s like my nationality doesn’t matter. It’s like you are deem as from Africa just because of your skin color. Or you are seen as either from America or UK, just because you are white and English spoken. It just made no sense. Particularly now that the world has become global and as long you have the means, you can travel almost to anywhere and live anywhere.
If you ask why I am not proud of my roots, I am! I am proud that I am a Singaporean, my roots are tied to Singapore. I never step onto the soil of China until much later in life when I need to go to Shanghai for work. Is Singapore very much different from China?
Definitely! Singapore is a tiny weeny dot comparison to a lot of countries. Despite its size, we are first world country too!
The dilemma comes in when people asked if I am a Chinese and they get confused when I said I am a Singaporean or when I said I am a Chinese from Singapore and I’ll have to explain myself. This kept going on especially when I am overseas regardless whether I’m in China.
I also counted my blessings that as inconvenience as it seems, it is a conversation starter among strangers and it arises curiosity enough for them to want to understand more about my country. Because of this, I have befriend many foreigners especially the Chinese who are intrigued about my thoughts, my upbringing and my influences. This has led to many business opportunities and offers as they see me as a bridge to the western world.
So not every situation in your life is purely negative ones. If you are able to turn the situation around to your advantage, you’ll be able to balance a win-win solution out of it. I could have grumbled and avoided those I deem ignorants but I didn’t, instead now I have friends in China I could count on and I could stay with whenever I visit China. I also get to understand my colleagues from China and the way they handle certain things in certain matter, this way I avoided misunderstandings and confusion as well.
Have you encounter a situation where you turned it around to your advantage? Share it with us here!