The Chinese Canadian population mix may soon face drastic change as China's national security law in Hong Kong could cause a massive exodus of Hong Kongers to Canada. The demographic shift may highlight the existing clashes between the Hong Kong people and mainland Chinese, putting their cultural differences and decades of strains in the front and center. However, the two Chinese factions should leave the cultural and political tensions behind and embrace each other in multicultural Canada that values diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness.
Before it returned to China, the decades of the former British colony's prosperity had led to Hong Kongers' discriminatory attitude towards their poor cousins across the border, despising their uncivilized behaviors and looking down on their economic status. Their covert discrimination has turned into overt hatred and anger as a massive of deep pocket mainlanders -- produced by China's rapid economic growth flood into the city, causing disruptions of Hong Kongers' lives. Surging real estate prices, soaring birth tourism, and frantic shopping sprees have fueled their accusations that mainland "locusts" have "invaded" Hong Kong and took over its resources.
Beijing’s growing one-party dictatorship and its tightening control over the former British colony has sparked the anti-China resentment that increasingly spilled over mainlanders, further fueling the existing anger towards their mandarin speaking counterparts. Among the repeated incidents of verbal abuse, physical assault, and violence targeting mainland Chinese, a JP Morgan employee from China suffered a brutal attack while making his way to his workplace, highlighting the growing hate-motivated crimes against mainland Chinese.
But prejudices and resentments are a two-way street. Contempt and disdain against Hong Kongers are widespread emotions among mainlanders. Some denounced Hong Kong as a spoiled, ungrateful child, relying on China for resources and economic support, while others accused it of being traitors and British lapdogs without a sense of national pride. In the aftermath of a controversy over a child from mainland defecating in Hong Kong, Kong Qingdong, a Peking University professor, has publicly called Hong Kongers "bastards" and imperialists "running dogs."
However, despite a deep-rooted prejudice and ethnic tensions in their home country, Hong Kong and the mainland immigrants in Canada should leave their cultural baggage behind and find common grounds in this rich and free country they now call home. Under the multicultural mosaic, the Canadian society has intended to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of skin color, mother tongue, or country of origin, live free from discrimination, hatred, resentment, and violence.
Most Canadians in this modern civilized nation can tolerate group differences, suppressing the deep-seated human tendencies of racial profiling, xenophobia, and bigotry. Muslims and blacks have found protection, support, and love from Canadians of different races as anti-Islamic phobia and black-lives-matter movements gain traction in the country.
If people of different colors are striving to reduce racial and ethnic prejudice in Canada, ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong and mainland-- the long-separated siblings, should end the escalation of tensions and hostilities, and make concerted efforts to embrace a calm and peaceful life in this land of harmony.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.