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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Chinglish number one, ok!

Talk about English as an abstract.

Do these Chinese immigrants respect the local culture and languages of their "host" societies? Read the example below to make your own mind up, but I'm guessing the budding publisher wrote his blurb himself. I'm assuming the "bi-lingual" publication he wants to start is Chinese/Chinglish rather than Chinese/English.

He's only been here a mere 11 years after all. Some Chinese like Pansy Wong have been here since 1974 and still haven't bothered to understand the syntax. (Translation: Some Chinee lie Pansy Wong bee here sin 1974 have no bother understan syntax.)

From the Crouching Tiger Hidden Banana conference in Auckland, this from a list of papers for presentation.

This is not my cruel mocking it is verbatim:

Title: Thoughts of A New Wave Migrant

Author: Benjamin Pan

These thoughts will be read or presented in Forum 9 at 4.15pm on Sunday, 5 June 2005. Benjamin is planning to launch a bi-monthly bi-lingual publication on Chinese NZers' points of view with the aim of "A subscription per household movement".

Migrated to New Zealand in 1994, acquainted with Mr John Wood by chance.

There were MP election in 1995, Mr. Winston Peters made speechs of Anti-Asian migrants and newspapers titled “ Asian Invade”, attracted quite a lot of European and Maori groups. One day, John rang me for going to TV station since there was a live programme of talking to Mr. Winston Peters. Luckly, I was arranged in a seat of the live audience, In the programme, the host pointed at me with name and asked my opinion suddenly, I looked the name tag on the seat and responded quickly; “we came here with well educated, experienced, know how, capital and connections in our origins, we are here to assist building up New Zealand.”

New Zealand is an export oriented country, there will be long-team benefits for having us in this country.

Now, it is an election year for the parliament this year, we will become a target again, causing disputes. However, we have to stand up and say something for ourselves. Also, passing those messages to all other people in New Zealand.

Most of Chinese are conservative, not good at communicating with people. However, we need to have a good communication with people and not to be recognized as mystic, if we intend to set our roots in depth and build up a foundation in New Zealand, in order to having a bright life in here.

For instance: people may wonder, why some Chinese has no job, no income here, how can they afford to live in a huge house and drive with expensive cars. People do not know that we worked extremely hard in places where we came from, without weekend breaks, worked 16 to 20 hours daily, no sleep for 48 hours even 72 hours for catching up the shipping schedules. Doctors work from 8:00am to 10:30pm daily. No eating nor drinking out, no vacations at all. Works only! What we brough here with us is all we accumulated, cents by cents with frugality and diligence, neither fell from heaven, nor from stolen or robbery.

To launch this Chinese/English bi-lingual magazine, we are aiming to provide a channel of communication. Friends in main stream may want to understand Chinese culture and arts, but could not find the gate to get in. It’s our ideal to build up the gate and a bridge. Hope everyone joining us with support/sponsor, promote this “A subscription per household movement”. We can have mutual understanding and blending harmoniously. All of us and our children will living in Aotearoa forever.

Note the talk of "build up" and "building up" like we need perhaps a few hundred more high rises... populated by... "well educated" migrants (English of course is completely unimportant to educated Chinese).

Sometimes I wonder if people like that have the right attitude. It is easy to pick on people because their language skills aren't perfect and their outlook is different, but really, what he expresses in those brief few paragraphs is what I think the conference as a whole is about: a wonderfully positive and aggressive agenda for his culture, people and commerce.

Migrants think they will "grow us up" as one other paper puts it, but we would prefer they move here because they appreciate us and our ways rather than because we will let them form their own separate identities that they can perpetuate forever as a base to change the way we do things and let them get about the task of resource exploitation and ruining our lifestyles. We've done all that before with each wave of migrants. But with the Chinese we have a population with an active resistance to integrate that no other culture/ethnicity has ever displayed - on such a large scale that is to say (as there are many smaller minorities who are more exclusive).

We have a very liberal dilemma.
1. We want to maintain a free and open society where people can be who they want without restrictions on language, beliefs and associations.
2. We want an egalitarian society that has minimum and universal standards allowing all to participate culturally, economically, socially and politically.
3. We want to safeguard and encourage our existing infrastructure, institutions, culture and lifestyle, ie. Our heritage.

1 and 2 are largely compatible - but not with 3. Large scale immigration of strident homogenous groups poses a problem for 2 and 3. The price we ask is that to make 1 and 2 stable we have to enforce 3 or else the principles of universality and egalitarianism go out the window. The only way of doing that is to limit immigration from those groups so they do not disrupt those principles because no matter how correct the Chinese poll tax was we do not want such a blunt instrument used nowdays. We invite people in to our collective home, do we not, on our own terms with the understanding that they will not change the rules once here and will fit in as best they can? When we let in so many we can no longer ensure that happens even with our best efforts. Under economic pressure these groups may turn on each other, or as the Dutch have found out, they turn on the locals.

To me, the point where we have so many foreigners that the locals become the foreigners is the point of unacceptability. In short, no-one should ever feel or be treated like, a foreigner in their own land. It happened to Maori against their wishes in most places and now Pakeha are getting a taste of it. I was once asked in a Queen St food court by a couple of puzzled and inquisitive Iranians "Where do you come from?" - "Ah, Grey Lynn," I replied. "No, what country?" they asked. So for me that point has already been reached. I would not wish the Auckland population make-up to be replicated through-out the whole country. Every foreigner added does not make us more unique - it usually detracts from our uniqueness.


At 18/6/05 1:10 am, Blogger He-Hole-ad said...

"The only way of doing that is to limit immigration from those groups so they do not disrupt those principles because no matter how correct the Chinese poll tax was we do not want such a blunt instrument used nowdays."

Explain to me how limiting numbers of migrants is not blunt.

I agree that immigration cannot be unfettered. But if you plan on limiting Asian migration, you had better come up with a more well thought out reason than "they do not assimilate".

At 18/6/05 2:39 am, Blogger t selwyn said...


"Explain to me how limiting numbers of migrants is not blunt.":

The limitation of migrants can be done in many different ways. I state that the poll tax is too blunt. Other methods exist that are not so blunt such as enforcing the English language test properly (as they are supposedly doing now).

"If you plan on limiting Asian migration,":

Not necessarily. I am not suggesting specific national quotas such as we have with the Pacific Islands - that is also too blunt I think. Large groups of "stridently homogenous groups" ie. exclusive groups are problematic - but they are not just Asian by any means - the current crop we have at the moment however certainly tend towards that generalisation though.

"You had better come up with a more well thought out reason than "they do not assimilate"":

Why should I? That is surely the most important reason, even above economic considerations. If assimilation propensity was the sole criteria for immigration then it may be possible for urbane, English speaking, relevantly skilled young people from Asia to compose 100% of our immigrants! Assimilation is crucially important.

When you go down to the local shops and the local shopkeeper regurgitates a pie on to the footpath right outside his own shop, right in front of the bus stop, wanders back in and doesn't clean it up, you do tend to note that the chap is a typically badly dressed Chinese peasant. He isn't rich, his $2 shop arguably contributes to our deteriorating balance of payments crisis and all the flow-on effects it has on the country. Do we really need people of this calibre? He happens to represent a major problem. There are peasants from other countries too (I must sadly report that some Iraqi males do not seem to understand how to use a tiolet for example) and they are in the same category and must be screened out on an equal basis rather than just targeting Asians per se.

At 19/6/05 6:19 pm, Blogger He-Hole-ad said...

Of course, we don't wnat shopkeepers like this (http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3318424a11,00.html) either.

At 22/6/05 1:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well,if we don't want shopkeepers like that,why do we continue to import them in vast numbers.I live in Mt Eden and see that sort of stuff every week.Better bred Asians hate the situation also because it reflects badly on them too.Asia is so vast,NZ so small.At the present rate of immigration,we will eventually become a mini China.

At 22/6/05 4:13 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

I think a lot of these people get in on the "business" quota. Of course their "business" is a farce: $2 shops, food court booths, diaries etc. Things that do not employ people except for them and their family and they buy their stuff from their home country - so all in all a net loss. They probably borrowed heavily to get themselves here anyway and will have to repatriate that money too. But it makes our GDP look good in the short term and that's all the Govt. cares about.

And fuck are they old! Ten years of running a bullshit tin pot shop with their six kids and they can retire here. Overall they are a net loss to the nation ecenomically, and many are socially disabled. They are here on all sorts of spurious criteria - not just business: family reunification, "skilled" (even if not English speaking with no relevant experience and unacceptable qualifications).

You're in Auckland so I don't have to tell you about the high volume and low quality of immigrants.


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