Chinese Kiwis get best of both cultures
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.