T Nation

Is this How You Work the Bat Signal for Chinese People?

You’re almost making me second guess myself here, but I’m pretty sure my old pal is either Chinese, Hong Kong-ese or Taiwanese.

I appreciate the feedback, btw. I only know two Chinese people in real life, my aunt and cousin. My aunt and uncle made it back to the USA on Feb. 2 from Chongqing, which I think was the day the travel restrictions started kicking in.

Since I threw out the bat signal, I’d appreciate some other cultural insight if anyone can offer it.

My aunt and I are friendly, but I don’t talk with her often. She had some kind of hang-up about my Uncle’s VERY close relationship with my step-son, who is not blood-related to anyone in my family but is part of our family. He’s 19 now and I’ve been raising him since he was 4. He and my uncle have been close for the entire time. Normal stuff in the USA nowadays.

Apparently taking someone in like that is stigmatized somehow, according to my Uncle (Polish, btw). Is that a Chinese thing or just my aunt being mean for reasons unrelated to Chinese society and culture?

Born in Hong Kong. Cantonese and poor.

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I don’t watch stuff like that.

I’ll watch stuff like this thanks to @ChickenLittle lol:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoC47do520os_4DBMEFGg4A

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The Chinese are motivated by some combination of money (#1), power (to get money), and “face”. Parse everything you see or read through that lens, and you’ll be fine 99% of the time…

Didn’t you say your stepson was from Somalia? Most old Chinese people are notoriously racist when it comes to people of color, just the way it is. If he’s just your average white male, well, they’re “affectionately” called white devils, so there’s that too. And yes, being a blood relation is definitely mo’ better.

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I second this. It’s not even old chinese people. It’s sometimes shocking how racist and homophobic my parents and their friends are… and they’ve all lived in the states for over 20 years!

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No, he’s of mixed European heritage like I am.

We live in a community with a lot of Somalians. Roughly 40 percent of his graduating class, so it is a subject I’ve written about before.

In that case, it might have to do with his background. ie. if his birth parents were sketchy, your aunt might consider his bloodline “contaminated”

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She might also have problems with your community and not the step-son per say

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Ok, I added a line about not being your “blood”.

There might be some kind of stigma attached to being “unwanted”. (all those (unwanted) Chinese girls being adopted by white families back in the day, not sure it this is still the case)

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She’s a hard read for me. Again, she’s polite and friendly around both of us, but some of what my uncle shared was a bit surprising.

It started shortly after they were married roughly 3 years ago. We had a gathering in Florida and my uncle wanted to take my kid to the Disney water parks. No big deal, totally normal stuff. They’d done stuff like that dozens of times over the years.

Edit: Also to clarify, they did this before they were married and no such objection was made. These type of objections only began after she married my uncle.

She did not like the idea of spending the money on his ticket, and the hang-up seemed to be centered around the fact that he wasn’t blood (according to my uncle). I said whatever and sent him with some cash and they all seemed to have a good time, so I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Just a few incidents of reluctance to include him somehow over the years that I’d like to understand better.

To her credit, she seems to be assimilating somewhat. Our last visit was great. They came to Maine!

I love stuff like this. Traditional methods demonstrated.

Thanks @ChickenLittle. I’ll probably fall asleep to this for the next week at least.

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Also, the Chinese play the long game, because they are dictators (elected LOL) for life, subject only to internal power struggles within their ranks.

N=1 story: my buddy (Ivy Leaguer) was in China to learn the language back in the early 80s; among others in the program, African prince types (for the future access to natural resources so I was told)

add: unlike the US, where everything is geared towards getting the vote in the next election cycle

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His dad is definitely a complete piece of shit. Solid mom for sure, even if we ended up with our differences. I probably wouldn’t have felt so compelled to take care of the kid if he had a solid dad at the time.

I wonder if she is concerned because the step-son is white, while her child (boy or girl) is mixed white/Asian? As in, she is concerned the step-son is seen as a usurper?

I have some weird racial and religious interactions going on like this in my family. I have two children with my wife. I am 50% Apache and 40% Northern European (probably Norwegian) and 10% some unknown Native American tribe, probably Comanche. My wife is 100% Ashkenazi Jew. I nominally converted to Judaism, but was raised Catholic, and candidly don’t care.

We adopted my niece and nephew (100% Apache) because my brother and sister-in-law were essentially cartel members and ended up: (1) dead and (2) in prison for basically life. Super smart (National Merit, like his father) kids. Catholic, but only know how to cook Jewish food and go to Temple with the family (and Church with Grandma). Like they listed kugel and brisket as their favorite foods in elementary school, Jewish. Freak out about cheese on a burger. Argue with the priest at catechism class about theology Jewish.

Various family members (both sides) are freaked about the whole cultural, racial, and religious issues that abound.

We have resolved as a family to ignore everyone.

(Edited because I failed to proportionately reduce my fractions.)

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I won’t profess to guess how the aunt regards that dynamic, but it is definitely a factor in her thinking. Good point.

You and yours are very evolved.

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I doubt it because her and my uncle both have grown children and I don’t think more are planned. I’m not sure more are even possible without adoption. I can’t say for sure what they’ve got planned, but a new family member would be a big surprise for everyone.

If I’m thinking about things in the framework of a struggle for power, money and saving face, maybe this makes a little more sense. This is a really interesting thought experiment for me.

My stepson is kind of the kid my uncle never had, even though he raised 3 boys who all turned out pretty well. None of his boys took to his interests, however. My kid and my uncle have been buddies since they first met, instant connection kind of thing. My uncle is a high-level bow hunter and general outdoorsman who played college hockey. My kid has been a lifelong hockey nut and a hockey player from age 7 or so. His other main interests are fishing, camping, hiking and hunting.

I suppose I can’t leave out partying with his boys and chasing tail, both of which he’s smartening up about lately, thankfully. He bagged his first turkey the other day. 19lb 13oz taken with a 12 gauge. Uncle was ecstatic, of course. That’s a monster bird.

Maybe this is a combination of Chinese long-gaming for money and power. Maybe it is good old fashioned female jealousy. Maybe I’m way off altogether. Who knows?

Thinking about it in strictly power and influence dynamics, perhaps she sees my uncle siphoning off more of their mutual funds to my kid. He’s definitely blown a LOT of money on him over the years. She may even have a point…

Again, I’d like to stress that this is a minor concern and she’s been a wonderful new member of our family, as has her daughter. It definitely spices up the family pot to bring someone in from far away. For what it’s worth my uncle’s older sister also fell for Asia and Asians. She spent most of the 90’s and 00’s in Japan doing all kinds of high level business roles. Very fluent in Japanese. She was also very attracted to shitty men with Asian features.

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Now I am going to have to watch the first two episodes…lol I wonder why they didn’t make the chimney just a little bit taller, and with that cob being wet and cold I bet there was a lot of smoke before that chimney got warm enough to start drawing.

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I’m seriously all-in on the channel you linked. I love this kind of stuff and it presents it in such a calm and soothing way!

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@punnyguy should have warned you, it’s addicting.

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I think the videos are fairly accurate in depicting the bad stuff. But you have to know what normal everyday life is in China to view the info in the videos in the right context.

Otherwise, you’d think it’s like North Korea.

I tried explaining to pat in another thread that life in China is similar to other countries including the US, just that there are certain cultural differences. People go shopping, watch Marvel movies, go to gyms, play video games, Starbucks knockoff cafes. There are BJJ gyms there nowadays. They watch reality TV.

Let’s put it this way. The average Chinese citizen would vote for Trump if Trump didn’t have so many sex scandals.

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