Posts Tagged 2010

Thoughts on “Write In Taiwanese”

Ah, the 2010 census (okay that video was a year old).  But I think it’s interesting to hear the various oppositions to the “Taiwanese” ethnicity.  Among the most common arguments is that aborigines aside, the people who call themselves “Taiwanese” are really just Han Chinese immigrants.  Therefore, they shouldn’t be confusing people.  But what is Han Chinese? China’s history is wracked with mythical depictions such as the “perfect” successions of each dynasty, and the Han people being descendants of the Yellow Emperor. At one point, the Qing dynasty considered everyone in their territory to be One could argue that the so-called “Han-Chinese” ethnicity is already extremely mixed biologically speaking, and such designations are subjective.

So what is ethnicity?  Genealogy?  Culture?  Truth to be told, there’s not as much of genetic diversity amongst humans compared to others species.  Judging by physical features and genetics is only one part of categorizations.  Thus, it would be more culture that would distinguish us.  Yet Taiwan still preserves what would be considered authentic “Chinese” culture by many.  But there are other countries that are heavily influenced like China.  Japan, Korea, and Vietnam all borrowed from the Chinese, yet remain very distinct.  Taiwan may have retained some of that culture, but it’s also developing a newer one.

Another thing to take in mind is exposure to culture.  While race is heavily linked with ethnicity, they are not the same.  An American born Chinese will most likely know less about Chinese culture than an European whose lived in China their whole life  Other overseas Chinese may have no problems recognizing themselves as Han Chinese as a designation.  That is fine.   But they’re not necessarily culturally Chinese, and that makes a difference.

Ultimately, it should be the person who should define their identity.



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