From the Readers

I am a foreigner but not a stranger

Updated: 2011-07-13 16:11


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Comment on “Foreigners still remain strangers in China” (China Daily website, July 11)

As a foreigner here, there are times I feel very welcome, and times I feel unwelcome.

I feel welcome when I go down to the local wet market and see a lot of the friends I have made there and have a good argument over the price of watermelons... we have a good laugh and chaff each other. When I see people I know on the street, I stop and yammer with them for a while with my limited Chinese. We talk about everything from government policy to the weather in Hainan. It's wonderful! I'm part of a welcoming community and I feel at home here.

But I feel unwelcome when I walk down the street and I hear a voice shout "Laowai!" or "Are you waiguoren?”. They are not pejorative terms, and I know that. But they are constant reminders that people don't understand that this is my home and I love my home. Sure, my home, like my wife, friends and family, are not perfect, and I will criticize and chastise when they do wrong. But there is no less love for them despite this.

Physically different I may be, but I love China at least as much as anyone born here and undoubtedly more than those "patriot" who follow the law when it suits them, treat their countrymen like workaholic sheep and then disappear to Canada or Australia when they have made their fortune.

KJD, on China Daily website

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