“Been here since 1983 but can’t speak Canto? Loser.”
Responses to our interview with actor and singer Michael Wong [“First Person,” July 22, Issue 1155], in which he discussed how he doesn’t like to be called a “gweilo.”
Well. Somehow he expects to be called a singer.
Damn right. Racist term. Born and grew up my whole life in Hong Kong hearing it. White demon? Swivel on it.
Literally it may be “white demon”. But as you were born here you would know that in HK it’s a term filled with respect/envy/awe, if anything it’s a reverse-racism thing. I mean where else are white non-locals called “expatriates” instead of “economic immigrants”? I hate to admit it, but Hong Kong is indeed a very racist place, but certainly not against white folks (“Gweilos”), but against South Asians etc. The term has just become so ingrained in the vocabulary that there’s no easy replacement, the literal meaning is never thought of.
Alpha H S Lau
@Alpha You tripping. Put a western folk working in a local company with locals management, and see how there’s “no racism against white folks”. It’s the perfect occasion to spill it all out.
You take it as racist only because you choose to. Contexts do change from people to people and it’s not up to you to say that it’s always derogatory to everyone when it isn’t. My young expat female friends call themselves gwei mui among their local friends. Does that change the way people see them. No it doesn’t.
Alvin CW C
When I visit I get told I have gwei jai thinking. It’s not meant in an offensive way. It’s their way of calling something foreign or alien.
There are actual terms for foreign that can be used instead. For the hundredth time, “It’s just their way” is not a reasonable excuse. Frankly it’s rather patronising to ethnically Chinese Hong Kongers to say that they are simply unable to change.
Lol - been here since 1983 but can’t speak Canto? Loser.
Completely agree with his assessment w/ the exception of language. Mandarin should be all that is needed unless it is his heritage