Hi, I just read the most interesting blog post on Ask a Korean! I thought I’ll share it. It’s about Korean Americans but I think it also applies to all immigrants.
Be sure to check out the article that inspired the ask as well as the comments which all offer different perspectives.
Finally, I would like to ask the mods and the followers of thisisnotchina for your personal perspective on this issue. My parents happen to be very patriotic types and enthusiastic flag-wavers. (they don’t like China very much). I am very much ambivalent myself. I don’t feel that I belong to any country.
I know that some readers would probably bristle even at being put on the spot this way just because of their ancestry but I’m speaking from the perspective of a 过来人.
Interesting article. I more or less agree with the writer of Ask a Korean, in that sports team loyalty should not be taken as a declaration of nation loyalty in the same vein as like, actually being in the military. I also think that for Asian-Americans to root for their heritage nations’ teams over their home team does not justify being seen as a perpetual foreigner. It’s not shooting ourselves in the foot, it’s not being hypocritical when we demand to be recognised as American, Canadian, etc. but still support our family’s country in sports over our own. For many of us, this is a result of being Othered in our homeland.
In my own experience, it totally depends. I know many other Chinese-Canadian sports fans who support Canada in sports like ice hockey but support China in sports like tennis. I personally feel like a lot of Chinese-Canadians are hesitant to support Chinese teams because it seems like an endorsement for PRC as a nation and a government. It’s easier to support individual athletes like Li Na or Liu Xiang. I can’t imagine such universal diasporic Chinese support for a national soccer team the way most diasporic Koreans I meet support the South Korean soccer team. I think these sentiments can also depend on where in the diaspora you are. I know more Chinese-Americans who are quick to reject any form of American patriotism and that’s the basis for their lack of support for American teams. In Canada, we are raised with the narrative of being “good liberals” compared to the US, so I don’t see the same outright anti-Canadian patriotism over here.
At the end of the day, I think it’s an interesting discussion within the community but not something that should be dissected by non-immigrant white people. Don’t assume I feel this way or that about a Chinese or a Canadian team just because I’m Chinese-Canadian. Don’t assume I’m going to always support the Chinese team because you only see me as Chinese. Don’t assume I’m always going to support the Canadian team because you think I’m a “good (read: assimilated)” Canadian.