Who Am I ? | Chinese? Taiwanese? PART 1
Why are you teaching Chinese if you are not a Chinese?
Many people have been asking me the same questions over the yaers.
1. Why did you say you are a Taiwanese?
2. Aren't you a Chinese?
3. Isn't Taiwan part of China?
4. Why did you say Taiwan is a country?
5. You accent is a bit weird an different
from people in mainland China.
Do you speak standard Mandarin?
6. What's the differences between Taiwan and China
in terms of the language?
Well....that's a lot of questions I have to answer when I introduce myself as a Taiwanese to a new friend or a new student. I think they are all very good questions, so I've decided to write a post answering those questions all at once!
Question 1: Why did you say you are a Taiwanese?
Because I'm from Taiwan. So I'm a Taiwanese.
In Mandarin 我是台灣人。（Wǒ shì táiwān rén.）
literally means " I am Taiwan person." which means I'm a Taiwanese.
It's the same logic when a person from Shanghai says "I am a Shanghainese." or " I am Shanghai person."
Therefore, I feel it's totally reasonable saying 我是台灣人。
（Wǒ shì táiwān rén.）
But...to avoid the confusion and all the quetions, I usually choose saying 我來自台灣。(Wǒ láizì táiwān.) meaning I'm from Taiwan. Telling people where I am from is much easier than telling people my nationality. :)
Question 2 : Aren't/ Are you a Chinese?
Yes and No!
In English, you only have one word and it is "Chinese" but in Mandarin we have two different expressions at least for Chinese people.
1. 中國人 （Zhōngguó rén）which literally means " China person", meaning people from China.
2. 華人 （huárén ) meaning "Ethnic Chinese". An "Ethnic Chinese 華人 （huárén )" doesn't means his nationality is China, right?
So yes, I'm a Chinese. I'm a 華人 （huárén ), but I'm not 中國人 (Zhōngguó rén), that's not my nationality. I'm holding a Taiwanese passport and a Taiwanese identification.
It's not that I'm against Chinese people or China, please don't get me wrong. It's just so weird being told that I'm a 中國人 （Zhōngguó rén）since I've only been to China twice in my life.
Question 3 : Isn't Taiwan part of China?
Well....It's a really sensitive question....but....
No. I'm sorry..but no.
China claims to the world that Taiwan is part of China. But actually..we have our own law, constitution, president, and a different passport from China. So by legal definition, Taiwan doesn't belong to China.
Now..let's speak from the history prospective!
Starting from 1927, there was a civil war between two parties in China after Qing Dynesty 清朝（qīngcháo）.
One party is called 國民黨 （guómíndǎng）KMT is how people translated in English, and it's an abbreviation.
The other party is called 共產黨（gòngchǎndǎng）which is the communist party in China now.
Long story short, 共產黨（gòngchǎndǎng）won the civil war, and 國民黨 （guómíndǎng）lost the war, retreating from China, moving to Taiwan and starting their own government and country called Taiwan.
That's why now you see two different countries speaking the same language, sharing the similar culture also with the same DNA.
Is Taiwan part of China?
Well...you can give yourself the answer from history prospective.
Speaking from my own prospective.... :)
I love Taiwan, I'm proud of being a Taiwanese. I have a strong affection for this land called Taiwan, because I was born and raised here for 34 years in my life.
It's human nature that a person has strong affection for the place that he was born and raised, right? And it's not political, it's who we are as a human.
I am not against Chinese people at all, I've met many Chinese people 中國人 （Zhōngguó rén） in my life who are friendly to me. I just want to keep things simple and tell people that I'm from Taiwan without worrying about the political issue.
I've encountered many people who told me that " Taiwan is part of China. I've seen lots of information online, Taiwan is part of China!" I actually don't argue with that because I believe and respect all people have their own opinion. It's okay! I don't mind.
But fun fact, Taiwanese passport is more convenient than a Chinese passport. hahah ))))
Okay...I'll leave the rest of the questions to my next post.
If you read till the end of this post, thank you very much for your patience. And please leave a comment and tell me what do you think in a rational way ;) I will openly accept all opinions.
It's a free world as long as we don't hurt each other! :)
And also I would like to know if your country has the similar situation as Taiwan? Can you share with me? I would love to know and learn!
If you want to know about the history between Taiwan and China, please click the link below.
Thank you very much for reading my post!
I use traditional characters in m post, in case you are wondering.