Chi­nese Ki­wis get best of both cul­tures

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

What does it mean to be a Chi­nese New Zealan­der?

That’s the theme be­hind the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence Di­verse Ba­nanas, Global Drag­ons, which starts on Fri­day.

Kai Luey is one of the or­gan­is­ers and says be­ing Kiwi Chi­nese is about try­ing to get the best out of both cul­tures.

‘‘We’re ba­nanas; yel­low on the out­side and white on the in­side,’’ he says.

‘‘Even though we were born in New Zealand we’ve still had a Chi­nese up­bring­ing which is fo­cused strongly on fam­ily val­ues, the value of ed­u­ca­tion and look­ing to the long term fu­ture for the chil­dren.’’

The aim of the con­fer­ence is to tell Chi­nese sto­ries, Luey says.

His­tor­i­cally Chi­nese mi­grants ex­pe­ri­enced dis­crim­i­na­tion but per­cep­tions have changed a lot, even since the first con­fer­ence was put on in 2005, he says.

‘‘China is New Zealand’s fastest grow­ing tourism sec­tor and, as well as other parts of Asia, it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to New Zealand’s eco­nomic fu­ture.

‘‘People are re­al­is­ing that if they want to do busi­ness in those ar­eas they need to em­ploy more Chi­nese and Asians. All we want is to open people’s eyes to pos­si­bil­ity and to re­ally ac­cept Chi­nese New Zealan­ders,’’ he says.

Di­verse Ba­nanas, Global Drag­ons runs from May 30 to June 1 at The Univer­sity of Auck­land Busi­ness School. Hear Anthony Hoy Fong speak at a free sem­i­nar on May 30 at 4.30pm. He is also tak­ing part in High Fly­ing Ba­nanas – Per­sonal Jour­neys of Chi­nese New Zealan­ders at Home and Abroad on May 31 at 10:45am. Deanna Yang is one of the speak­ers in­volved in Emerg­ing Ba­nanas Have Their Say on June 1 at 4.45pm. See go­ing­bananas.org.nz for the pro­gramme. Cut above: Anthony Hoy Fong went from run­ning the fam­ily fruit shop to be­ing a chef con­sul­tant to the White House.

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