Saturday, December 15, 2007
the road back to chinatown
the other day, a chinese friend was kind enough to accompany me to chinatown when she knew that i haven't been there yet. we've roamed around the entire place, with my camera on one hand, i looked like a complete tourist. chinatown was exactly what i imagined it to be except the undescribable scent of horse pee and shit. narrow streets, chinese scripts, lion and dragon images, streaks of red and gold, chinky-eyed people and lots of buddha monuments.melody, my chinese friend, was very well-versewhen it comes to her chinese roots. she 'sounds' fluent in mandarin and reading the language. i knew she was really getting annoyed the whole time because i kept on asking her to translate different things and read boards along binondo. but i really can't help it. chinese culture was beginning to interests me, bringing about the blood in me. yes, although it is not dominant in me because of my dark skin and round eyes, i have a quarter of chinese descent in my blood. my grandmother's father is an UY, a pure chinese merchant who made his way into the markets of bicol and married a chinese mestisa. they've raised a family of nine, my grandmother being the eldest. eventually, my grandmom married a filipino and needed to buy from a filipino cousin their last name for legal purposes. fortunately, i was still able to familiariaze myself with our chinese custom when i was a child. since my great grandparents were still living. when they died, nobody else in my father's side coninued the tradition.along the way, my chinese friend introduced me to her ama (grand mother) and her (uncle). she warned me to prepare myself and just ignored any unusual gesture that they might give towards me. so i just gave my best warming smile. fortunately, i didn't notice any unusual gesture from them. we were eating authentic chinese dumplings, (the ones that were way different from those served in chowking, for they were filled with bashful of herbs and minimal meat. suprisingly, you'll still be able to sense the strong taste of pork) when she told me about the last time she introduced a filipino friend and was discriminated by her relatives when she introduced him to them. her friend didn't know this since they've expressed it in mandarin. hence, my friend didn't bother informing it to her friend, in which i understand.from there, i really got worried believing they've alreadyy discriminated me. since i really looked filipino basing on my features. on the other hand, my friend assured me that they've didn't. i just took her word for it. thinking about it. it is surprising to know how each individual regardless of class and race, has there own prejudices against one another. for instance, the so-called upper class has one against lower one. while the lower class has their counter prejudices against those at top. same logic follows in terms of other contexts. it is like a survival apparatus in order to survive the vicious nature of our social life. it seemed like each individual or group of people needs to have something to keep in themselves in order to value whatever status they are at. these keep them from going through life.most sociologist and political scientist would actually favor the conflict theory, claiming that it is inevitable for conflict to be relinguished in a society. they've viewed this a vital impetus or driving force for societal survival. each individual needs to have something to conflict with to avoid staleness and to look for other means to go through with whatever problems they maybe brought about to them. probably, as i emphasized the value of conflict in terms of discrimination and prejudices in this post, you might be thinking that i am promoting racisim or sexism. please, don't get me wrong. actually these are the top of my list when it comes to my petpeeves. the point that i am trying to drive at is conflicts are everywhere. probably, when life was created, conflict was the primary ingredient they've mixed. nobody can't escape it. for it is not life if you are going to eradicate it. but atleast we still have the option of atleast minimizing it from each of our system.