Has China Made Me Chinese?

I have been writing this blog for about 9 years now… and I have been in China going on 11 years and one thing I have noticed is that … my readers in the states keep commenting that “I am turning Chinese” or “I my thinking has changed” or that “I am not American anymore” ….. well I decided to write a blog about this to explain somethings.


First of all, if you have never lived abroad in another country… then you will have a little trouble understanding that you gain education when you live in another country.  You can see things from the viewpoint of other people that are not American.   You grow and you experience things and you see things that open your eyes to the fact that America isn’t the only country in the world and the world does not revolve around America.

Now in answer to the comments that say I am turning Chinese… the answer is NO.. I am not.. “turning Chinese” .. First, legally China does not let you become Chinese.  They do not let you change your nationality… Second to the Chinese people… no matter how long you live in China… you are always a foreigner… it is an Us vs Them mentality.   They may be nice to you and be your friend or even become your family.. but you will always be a foreigner to them….. they never let you forget it.   Third, I love my country and I would never trade being American for anything in the world, no matter how embarrassing it gets at times.


To answer the comment “your thinking has changed” … of course my thinking has changed in the past 10 years… its called growing and learning… I really don’t know anyone that thinks the same as they did 10 years ago, no matter what country they are in.   If you do think the same then you need to get out of the bubble that you are living in.  Change is good… growth is good… I have experienced a lot in 10 years… life changing things… so yes… my views of the world change with every new experience.

The last comment… “I am not American anymore”… now that is the most hurtful… because I have spent the last 10 years educating people about American culture, American ideals and American people… I have defended Americans to other nationalities time and time again.   I am probably more American than most of you that read my blog.   How many of you defend America to people from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East?  How many of you try to explain that we have morals, standards and goals .. that other countries cannot begin to understand?  How many of you tell people how complex our country is and explain how our government works?

We people that live abroad… have to explain Why people are killing each other? Why our president is an idiot? Why are the police killing Black men?  We have to explain.. why a country that brags about freedoms and equality has so much racism?

So… to answer the questions…. Am I turning Chinese … No I am not… Have I changed my thinking… yes I have .. for the better…… I am I still American… I am American and then some… I have become an International Citizen……. I speak three languages (Spanish, English, Chinese) … and I have met people from all over the world and learned from them….. I have opened my mind to the world and made many new friends…. and I have figured out that America, the country I love with all my heart….. has lost its way…..I have also learned that my American people are difficult, and demanding…. we take for granted all the rights we have and the freedoms we have….we have so many choices…. and so many things… but still are not satisfied.


I have seen… a lot in 10 years…. and I have learn a lot from the Chinese…. one of the things I have learned that I think is valuable is “face”….some may not like all the foreigners here…. and some may not always be treated fairly….. but they would never make someone look bad.. in front of their boss, friends or in public….. they go out of their way to show respect and to keep “face” …. no matter what the situation….. it may be a little extreme here… but I think… American could learn to give a little more respect to people…. and give people some “face”

Until Next Time…


11 thoughts on “Has China Made Me Chinese?

  1. Aurolyn

    Very well said. I enjoy reading your blogs, and admire the fact that you are a black women living in China. “Respect”, something we as Americans need to practice extending to each other so much more. Yes we have our faults, but it is a wonderful country. Congratulations on your blogging for 9 years. GREAT.

  2. Eri

    Fantastic post, Jo! I lived in Europe for 6 years and was asked so many questions about the seemingly conflicting ideals of the U.S. You completely nailed the “explaining” part of being an expatriate. When you’re an American person of color, the questions really flood in! Respect is something that we definitely need more of here.

  3. Kenneth James Mate

    Jo, excellent observation and continued success with the blog. Good talking to you recently and continued success in your career in China.

  4. Deb

    Great blog. I would love to read your more about your experience on Chinese culture regarding “face”. Embarrasment in public and the work place I know very well.

  5. Jocelyn - Speaking of China

    Great post Jo — so true about giving people respect. It’s something more foreigners would do well to remember.

    BTW, how fantastic you’ve been blogging for 9 years!

What do you think about this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s