Monday, November 17, 2008

Insider-Outsider...

Please don't put me into a pigeonhole
I am too big to fit into a convenient box
I am not either-or
I want to tick all of the above
Why won't you let me?

Please don't objectify me with a label
I am too complicated to be pinned
Down by just nationality or race
Even if you insert a hyphen
Why won't you let me be?

Please don't look down on me
Just because I am not considered "pure breed"
Your superiority and sanctimony
Have neither logical nor empirical basis
Why won't you face it?

I am done with pleading,
I am done with explaining.
I am who I am.
If you need a label to understand me,
Then you won't ever understand me.

And that would be your loss.

For my little sister and little brother.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, may you never be judged by the colour of your skin, but by the content of your character.

(c) Snowdrops 2008. All rights reserved.

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3 Comments:

At Mon Nov 17, 10:46:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger michelle said...

hey snowdrops, hope it was not me who try to put you into a pigeonhole... or, its just me who's too sensitive to think that :S

 
At Mon Nov 17, 11:28:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Oh please don't worry Michelle (and thanks for visiting!), I did not mean the "you" in the poem to refer to you at all. Even though I don't know you that well, I think you're too nice a person to have that kind of odious attitude. And as you and I are both former Hong Kong emigres who have settled in European countries, I'm guessing you've probably experienced or witnessed the kind of attitude I was describing and would never apply it to somebody else.

But yes the poem was inspired by the conversations over on your blog, as I wasn't quite sure what the label "Chook Sing" actually means, even though I've heard of it before. I did a search on the Internet, and realised that it's a Cantonese term to describe second-generation foreign-born kids, and more often than not it has a certain kind of derogatory connotations. Although I was born in HK and have no problem reading and writing in Chinese and English (although not actually typing Chinese!), but I moved here at a young enough age to appreciate what my younger siblings might have to face in this world.

Thus my dedication of the poem to them, as human nature being human nature, people will always be keen to separate others into in- and out-groups, and there will always be pockets of bigotry in whichever society they may happen to live in. I hope that they would be armed with the knowledge that labels aren't everything and that those who dealt in labels are superficial types who are probably not worth their time anyway.

I was going to type a proper comment on your post as well (to further extend the "opposites attract" theory!) but unfortunately have got to go now so I'd do it later this evening. Thanks again for your comment here :)

 
At Mon Nov 17, 06:13:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger laichungleung said...

Early on, I have come to the sordid realization that because of my ridiculous good look, people invariably overlook my kindness and generosity and never bother to find out who I really am inside. . . . It's just sad.

 

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