My carpools (Liana and Davipalooza) and I were discussing my upcoming trip to Hong Kong, and how that totally went against a statement I had made before, that “I have no immediate plans to go back to China.” But wait, Liana and Dave said, Isn’t Hong Kong a part of China?
I was totally convinced that Hong Kong was not. That it is super British not just in its culture but in its more political categorization. This brought up the question of Taiwan. Isn’t Taiwan Chinese? Why do my Taiwanese friends describe themselves as Taiwanese and not Chinese?
I’m no history buff. I’m an ABC. Here’s what I’ve found, pasted into an e-mail to Liana and Dave. (We really miss each other when we all drive solo.)
So I really do have to rescind my statement of “I have no immediate plans to go to China.” So Hong Kong was taken over by Great Britain and then Japan and then Great Britain but then retaken over by China – as recently as 1997. World history is fun!
Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港) is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. It became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–1842), and then extended in 1898 onto the mainland and northern islands. It was occupied by the Japanese during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control. Hong Kong was reclassified as a British dependent territory in 1983 until China regained sovereignty in 1997.
Taiwan is also Chinese, but people are fiercely “Taiwanese.”
Taiwan (Chinese: 台灣), also known as Formosa (Chinese: 福爾摩沙; from Portuguese: (Ilha) Formosa, meaning “beautiful (island)”), is the largest island of the Republic of China (ROC) in East Asia. Taiwan is located east of the Taiwan Strait, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. Since the end of World War II in 1945, the island group has been under the government of the Republic of China.
This is also really confusing:
The political status of Taiwan is complex because it is claimed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) which was established in 1949 on mainland China and considers itself the successor state to the ROC. Japan had originally annexed Taiwan from the Qing Empire in 1895. At the end of World War II, Japan had agreed to give up sovereignty over Taiwan to the Republic of China..
…Okay, I’m done. Back to work. 🙂
My Iranian Friend (That’s not a nickname. That’s his name.) and I discussed it further, and came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter:
My Iranian Friend: whatever it was probably part of iran like way before we were born
Maykazine: ummmm you obviously weren’t aware that asians invented everything.
Maykazine: even life.
Maykazine: and the earth.
Maykazine: and then we made earthquake detectors
My Iranian Friend: woa
My Iranian Friend: i didnt know that
Maykazine: yeah really.
My Iranian Friend: and really good candy
Maykazine: that’s right.
My Iranian Friend: mostly the japanese though
My Iranian Friend: i mean hichew is bomb.jp
So there you have it. Even if I was born in the Far East I’d probably still experience a bit of a cultural identity crisis. I’ve got a lot to learn…