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Career Seminar for Chinese Youth

Hi,
Greetings from The Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development.

We are planning a 2 day career seminar for the Chinese youth, As this is something which is totally a new area for us we are conducting a survey (both online and offline) based on which we will tailor the seminar so that it can be conducted more effectively.

It would be very helpful for us if you could take out a few minutes from your time to fill up a survey form.

Please follow this link to participate in the Survey.

Thanking you in Advance,
Warm Regards,
Robert Hsu

Comments

  1. Ying says:

    Hi Robert,

    Is this the first ever career seminar initiated and run by the Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development in its history ? If so, hearty congratulations! There is always a first – it truly reflects that things are changing for the better in the Indian Chinese community where only a few thousands remain – who call Kolkata their home.

    In the distant past, Indian Chinese seldom venture out of their cookie cutter moulds. The trades of the parents were handed down naturally to their children without question, like shoemaking, tannery or dentistry business handed down for generations. Other than that, not many Indian Chinese went to work in professional fields run by the mainstream as there were always suspicion and lack of trust for no reasons at all – the legend of Fat Mama – where Indian Chinese were not even given an interview existed just because they were Chinese in the face.

    With globalization and the inroads made by multi-nationals into India, things are now emerging for the better. Opportunities arise, obviously not fully at par or equal status with the mainstream, at least for some Indian Chinese who have good qualifications, background and experience to be landed in some of the so-called more lucrative jobs where job vacancies were plentiful to choose from. As for the mainstream, the doors to the West and the Far East have also open for them to better their lives and work experience in headquarters or subsidiaries as expatriates abroad. This work methodology was nearly unheard of in the past.

    Here I applaud the Indian Chinese Association of Culture, Welfare and Development for the excellent cause and hope that this is only the first step for many more to follow suit.

    As a matter of cultural development on-the-job for Indian Chinese youths, there are now many mainland Chinese companies established in India which give some good reasons for them to nurture their ancestry roots apart from just a career development in life. Maybe the Chinses Consular Office can provide help in this front on job vacancies and also to promote goodwill and harmony to this marginalized minority community.

  2. Robert Hsu says:

    Thanks Ying for your encouraging words. I think our job prospects in India being lesser because of us being Chinese is a complete myth, we stand as much chance to be successful in a chosen field as our non-chinese counterpart, if we are professionally qualified. I can list numerous examples of Chinese I know who have done well professionally for themselves outside the so called “Chinese” profession, like beauticians, dentistry or even chinese interpreting.

    This seminar is a start to dispel this myth… we are at this point just collating and analyzing the details, it has been encouraging so far, will surely keep everyone posted on this.

    Robert

  3. Ling Tai says:

    In today’s date, any young guy from Tangra who is removed from his dad’s hard earned money, will end up being a coolie or beggar. Chinese youth in India lacks confidence, education and foresight. That’s why in their hands, Tangra has fallen, the population shrunken and scared, and who ever is left is planning to run away to Canada, to carry boxes in Walmart (standard coolie). (Well at least running away to Canada is more noble than going away for a few years in Taiwan – That is another sad story of the Chinese youngster’s self indulgence.)

    First give them attitude and personality workshop before anything else.

    God save us all.

    1. leon says:

      i would not really agreed on your point since these days most of the chinese youth is highly educated with college degree and very well off with MNC company. For those people going to taiwan for few years they come back more educated and an eye-opening experience. They get more job opportunities with good competitive advantage. Which i don’t think that is at all a sad story.

  4. Li says:

    This is indeed very sad. Based on Ling Tai’s earnest expression “God save us all” revealed a sense of urgency that something should be done to correct the current state of development in the small community.

    Based on my own personal observation & experience as a senior with most of the youths from Tangra today, what Ling Tai had said was correct to a large extent with only a handfuls belonging to Leon’s category of highly educated, skilled etc.

    The youth themselves should be accountable to this growing trend because they are laid back, un-motivated, want to earn easy money & work around things hoping to have free lunches.

    Ironically, most of the youths placed high values on Ah Fat Chong as an idol & hero. Maybe, it’s high time to invite him to open workshops to teach them on the art of begging and how to be a super coolie in New Market which is closer to home than Walmart in Canada.

    Wake up Tangra youths if you belong to that category who lack confidence, education and foresight

    What can Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development help ?

  5. Bill says:

    Ling Tai’s opinion is totally off the wall. Are you speaking from experience? I agree with Leon that today’s youth are better educated than their parents generation. Most of the people from my generation did not finish high school, let alone go to college. I was fortunate enough to go to Taiwan and got my BS degree there. I went on to get my Masters and MBA in the States. If I stayed behind, I would have only completed my Senior Cambridge because I was unable to go to college due to the aftermath of the Indian-China war. Since then, most youth can go to college if they want to and they are taking advantage of the opportunity. You have an extremely skewed view of today’s youth. One sad story does not represent the majority of the situation.

  6. Robert Hsu says:

    @ Li, “What can Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development help ?…”
    We have thought about this, and this proposed Career Seminar is a start from our end, we will judge the participation, and carry forward from there.

    Since I am not from Tangra, so I would not be able to comment on the plight of Chinese Youth there, but as for non-tangra chinese, I feel things are changing and more and more of them are coming into the main stream profession, guidance is needed, and that is what we do aim at providing.
    Robert

  7. Bill says:

    Robert,
    Kudos to you and the “Association” for taking this step to help the youths of the Indian Chinese community. From Ling’s entry, it sounds like your message needs to be taken to the youths and not wait for the youths to come to you. Maybe fliers need to be distributed the old fashion way as well as through the internet. It is important to let them know that they have someplace to go to for career guidance. I was fortunate enough while growing up, the Dean of study in my school gave me the needed guidance which opened my eyes to the vast oppotunity a college education could bring. My parents could not have provided the same guidance.

  8. Li says:

    Robert,

    Thanks for your quick response. Looks like the subject is already in radar of the Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development. So, it is in good hands. We shall see the ray of hope forthcoming soon; while the journey is long and tedious, we shall overcome.

    I agree with you that non-Tangra Chinese youths get into mainstream profession more forcefully. This is due to their humble background. Those who could leave have already done so. So what remains..it’s a matter of survival that triggers one to be more focussed on one’s goal in life.

    The Tangra Chinese youths who Ling Tai’s had expressed concern over are mostly from affluent families who have been all the while living in the comfort zone of luxury; hence they have lost their sense of direction, motivation, realities of life and the urge of a career goal that needed one to climb up the ladder – a rung at a time.

    Currently, there are many mainstream Indian professionals from Kolkata and across India, through their MNC workplace transfer, work in U.S., UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tokyo etc. With the national boundaries now open, it is now not uncommon for Indians to speak Mandarin, Cantonese or Japanese etc.

    The Indian Chinese youth’s could use these opportunities to broaden their work horizon; while not limiting to India alone but to a world without bounds.

    Good luck.

  9. ling tai says:

    Well first of all, thank you all for participating. at least i now know you are the few sensible ones who don’t mind sitting around the table. Yes many of you had your college education and went on to be in mainstream professions. And Yes a lot of “Chinese” youth these days have good jobs etc. But let me say that most of these mainstream “Chinese” don’t even know how to speak “Chinese”. Mayang Chang for example. yes he is a celeb. But I can’t call him “Chinese”. and ironically, those who have “Chinese culture” (at least those in India still think it as being the ultimate benchmark of one’s Chinese-ness) (vis a vis Tangra kids) have no social or professional skills. Those kids who went to Canada and got educated and working a day job – good for them. but the sad bit is now we’re talking about those who are not well off enough to get to Canada or anywhere. Therefore I disagree with Li that those poor souls in Tangra are from affluent families. They are Mixed – from rich families as well as from the lower end of the ‘quo’ so to speak – and they are misguided, ignorant, blissfully unaware and can’t even speak English properly or too scared to even communicate. While others in other parts of India can’t even speak Chinese and know nothing about their culture and roots.

    So – either way, Chinese youth in India need a reboot. a reconstruction and rehabilitation. I totally applaud Robert trying to make things happen but is it too little too late? We should have these discussions in the open and more often as it goes deeper than just a few disgruntled posts, or a few defensive ones. and with everyone trying to leave, I still say God save us all.

  10. Li says:

    ling tai & Robert,

    The “sores” didn’t appear in one day. It grew over time. Now we know how serious situation is. It does not matter we discuss openly – agreeing or disagreeing.

    We all are part of the community. Hence, must do best to root out whatever we can. Being offensive or defensive is not solution.

    ling tai, you’ve stated obvious & gave excellent examples. As one, let me share my thoughts on Meiyang Chang & others.

    When in Kolkata living in old Chinatown, I came from a humble (lower middle class) family. Luckily, unlike Chang, I speak, read & write Chinese (good enough to communicate) learnt from home tutors & of course English & Hindi (learnt at School with Hindi just Passed).

    All along, it was a struggle for my parents to make me learn Chinese. Upto class IX due to ISC exam pressures, my weekends’ Chinese lessons were stopped.

    Being overseas Chinese, there’s always a price to be paid; both by parents & children. Letting loose the pulls from any one side is drastic.

    From Chang’s home video & blogs, he should be from affluent family, living in Bangalore. His parents worked hard to provide best education. As a child, he was sent to best boarding schools to learn English. He had struggles with complexion & being singled out & taunted at school for being Chinese. He always longed to be with family; however, he knew within him that his parents gave their best, hence he accepted he needed to cope.

    Chang had little opportunity to speak or practise Chinese Hubei. This was possible only during his school holidays when with family.

    From same video, his aged grandmother was speaking with him in Hubei & performed Chinese rituals of worship, which to me was a big surprise. Having said this, I do not think there’s any fault of Chang or family for him unable to speak Chinese. Of course, Chang could have learnt Chinese through other means – at least to speak it well.

    For those other Chinese kids with Chinese culture & speak Chinese from not well off (lower middle class) family in Tangra, I would hate to deduce that lack of finance in family by parents to provide condusive environment to nurture/groom social or professional skills. Hence, they tend to be shy, introvert & frightened of the outside world, many unable to speak proper English.

    For those weathy kids, who’ve been in Canada, Taiwan & elsehwere, you’ve summed up their character already etc. (standard coolie & beggars ). I would not like to repeat. In short: they’d asked for it. The parents should not be blamed.

    More so from this forum board, you will read postings of Indian Chinese youths struggling to find a position of their identity. This is very SAD.

    Leaving politics aside (PRC vs Taiwan) which start that Chinese link debate, the new generations want to distance themselves from being called “Hakka Chinese”; not pleased that they were taught to speak Hakka at home, yet would want to show their Chineseness when to make livelihood in selling Indian Chinese food in a Chinese-look settings restaurants deceiving Indians of Chinese lineage food. For them, however hard they called themselves Indians and felt integrated fully as Indians, there’s a lingering guilt they cannot shed is the “Chinese” baggage.

    With all above said, Robert – I am not sure what the Association will prioritize to do (a reboot. a reconstruction or rehabilitation) so that ling tai can take off that uneasiness of “God save us all” for “those being misguided, ignorant, blissfully unaware, can’t speak English properly, too scared to communicate” with improvement.

    It is given but sad that other Indian Chinese in other parts of India cannot speak Chinese and know nothing about their culture & roots.

    Robert, we are puting a VERY HEAVY BURDEN on your shoulders. I salute you in advance in low bow to please make whatever changes necessary to happen sooner than later – even if it means too late, too little.

    Note: The writer is not defending Meiyang Chang. There is also no political motive or affiliation. Please respect freedom of speech. No HATE messages welcome.

  11. ycl1688 says:

    Li,

    you raised a good point on the chinese living outside of kolkata not having a chance to expose to chinese culture, that is understandable.

    Here is simple fact, the ‘have’ ones, obviously can survive if their fortune their parents left behind, that is different story.

    let us concentrate on the ‘have-nots’ they are one that swim or sink,
    my observation is depends on their family fortune. As for those who migrated to aboard, they end up with whatever jobs are their way of surviving.

    As for some does feel bad about being chinese nothing you can do about.

    my point is this if you know chinese culture will be a blessing.

    There goes a joke like this, in Soviet communist, the motherland does not like jew to embrace jewish culture. Jews are treated like dogs.

    One day a jew was reading Hebrew novel in Red Squrare and KGB (secret police) agent asked the jew what good is knowing Hebrew, the jew replied ‘if you know hebrew you can go to heaven’ and the kgb agent asked if you cannot make it to heaven, then what. the jew replied ‘
    then i know russians in hell’.

    This joke is not intended to aim at anyone, I have no intention to attack anyone.

    Fact of the matter is Association can help others more power to them.

  12. Ling Tai says:

    Let’s not get into personal attacks or personal disclaimers that no one is intended to be attacked. First of all, we should recognize what our “Indian Chinese Culture” really is. I saw that my grand father’s generation had built Chinese Temples and Chinese Schools and Chinese Community Centers, then my father’s generation took the Chinese into being Business class (I am talking about majority – any business be it restaurant or parlor or shoe shop) still Chinese were called “Cheena-Saheb”. Then came a generation that was in between who were too uneducated to plan or uplift the community but at the same time too rich to get away with it. and from them sprung another generation of Korean TV star wannabes who sadly has been the point of this discussion so far. Now, our “culture” as we know it stems from our people who came out of the farmlands of China 100 years ago. Whether it was the ‘right culture’ or just ‘rural mob mentality’ that they passed down – I don’t know. Point is right now, what is the “Indian Chinese Culture”? Any society has to move and adapt to the changing times in order to survive. I feel the only adapting that we are doing is to adapt the ways of flight. Maybe that’s the fate of our community who can afford it. The only excuse is that India is not a good country. Over the last say 60 years, I have not seen Chinese community being united. its always like Hakka Vs Cantonese Vs Hubei Vs Shan Tung etc. Children from these sub communities never got a platform or common body to feel that they belong and they have a responsibility towards the rest of the society. They will never be able to “change” because there was never a need or a chance to change our community for the better. Reason why India is not good anymore for “us” is because the generation before us stuck its head into the sand and the rest of us became sitting ducks for corrupt bureaucrats.
    There you have it. I have attacked both the old and young generation. And yes, Robert is holding a HEAVY BURDEN. But let us be there to help him when he starts moving with it.

  13. Li says:

    Ling Tai,

    Personal disclaimers posted with comments were to insure those sharing free expressions of thought do not get intimidated with personal attacks “to leave India” & labelled “Chinese Intelligence planting messages” by a paranoid member of our clan.

    What is Indian Chinese culture ? We need to start from history basics.

    Like any aged old Overseas Chinatowns, e.g. in San Francisco; (San Francisco Chinatown was once claimed to have the largest Chinese settlement outside China), the Indian Chinatowns (Tiretti Bazaar & Tangra) existed more or less with same humble beginnings.

    While the history on influx was not same with former for Gold Rush etc. & latter for World War II & economic reasons etc.

    In Chinatowns worldwide, Chinese political (background) strongholds exist as natural from time untold. Beginning with KMT vs Communists. Then Communist PRC vs Democratic Taiwan. Latest being the milder KMT goverment in power of Taiwan vs PRC. The sweet-bitter-sour relations going back & forth impacted overseas Chinese & Chinatowns worldwide. So, not a surprise Indian Chinese also have same struggle with Chinese political party affiliations other than being Indians. More so now when PRC & Taiwan are in better ties and India & PRC have improved to strategic partnership.

    The Chinese forefathers’ settlement in India is no different from others elsewhere – first, they came by self, then brought wives, set up family, community – build temples, associations, community centres, schools etc. then develop business. Some of their landmark structures still exist in Tiretti Bazaar or San Francisco Chinatowns.

    The “Cheena-Saheb” term started during India Raj period when British landlords who looked up on Chinese as more industrious than local Indians & favoured them with carpentry & other jobs; this ended in 1962.

    Next, then to Chinese associations, clans & their divisions – See Ip, Hubei, Shantung, Woo Leen, Hakka, Tung On, Shanghai etc. – these naturally exist as elsewhere to first provide help, support & protection to own clans first, then to others with spare resources. This is typical ancient “close-up” Chinese traditions also found in Chinese settlements in Malaysia, U.S. etc. The in-fighting & suspicions those days among clans were mainly on who gets upper hand was normal due livelihood issues, especially when making a living was only from hand to mouth. Now, in modern society with prosperity & better conditions, people’s minds are more open when clans start to come together to merge. This is improvement and a good sign.

    Aged old traditions & cultures (including Chinese superstitions) of old China existed in all Chinatown communities worldwide. In fact, today, some are more traditional than in original hometowns in China, e.g. Indian Chinese’s spoken Hakka is said to be purest form of Hakka than those in Moi Yuan in PRC today. This is not surprising because they have held on to preserve purest traditions & cultures intact. Worshipping ancestors, Tai Pak Kun, painting windows red during Chinese New Year & other customs etc.

    The only difference from other worldwide Chinatowns that came about as turning point was 1962 Indo China border war. It crashed everything. It was doomsday. Everything’s changed unexpectedly. Everyone’s running around like ants on hot bricks. No one knew about next move. Then came all the hassles of concentration camps, deportation, restrict freedom of travel etc. In that settings, it was normal that everything stopped & stagnanted in Chinatowns. To escape persecution, many looked for emigration to greener pastures.

    Emigration started post 1962 & accelerated further in late 60’s to 70’s but regretably it’s still ongoing milder now. The Indian Chinese population dwindled further & became an emigration community of flight.

    When society is not stable, it is hard to breed good citizens. With this said, the so called Korean TV star wannabes are those who have lost their identities & sense of directions; hence searching for one in the most easy & superficial way to escape from the facts of reality.

    I would not consider unethical to pass on aged old traditions (be it rural mob) but practicality & common sense education with open mind should be applied before doing so. The way of flight should be thought of a growing trend with no ends in sight. I do not think there’s anything wrong in this. Whoever remain remains. Whoever return returns. The question is to ask why they depart and why they return ? It’s looking for “change’ that driving factor – to the new generations. But more importantly, the identity issue should be resolved urgently to calm fears of links with China.

    The changing times bring tidal waves of evolution and quest of revival. Our community will not be exempted. We should move with times, improve the environments, the economics and business opportunity, set level playing fields, edorse community awareness and provide the best education system to enhance their vision. The community should embrace the basic motto: United we stand, divided we call. No finger pointing; no claims of who is better than others.

    Engage in Indian politics should breed good citizens. Support those with such aspirations.

    Let us join hands together to help Robert in whatever ways we can.

  14. Bill says:

    Ling Tai,

    I re-read all your comments several times, but I still do not get the point that you are obviously trying to make. Your initial post says that some youths waste their time going to Taiwan, while others migrate to countries like Canada and end up being coolies at Wal-Mart. Apparently, these are people from affluent families who can afford to finance their travel. Then you decry others who do not speak Chinese like Meiyang Chang. Lastly, there are others from less affluent or poor families who are not even educated enough to get a job. You mention the need to “reboot” the Indian Chinese youths of today. Do you have any suggestions? If Robert’s seminar can only help those with education and degrees, what can be done for those that do not?

    Li

    I agree that this is the time to shed all the talks about Cantonese, Hakka, Hubei etc and become just Indian Chinese with common goals. The Anglo-Indian community appear to have taken a step forward, the Indian Chinese community should also do the same.

  15. Li says:

    The plight of Anglo-Indians (AI) community (with quite similar background like us) left neglected & dwindled in India is a good reference point for us as learning experience.

    To relate what’s happening with them today & how they cope with those still remaining will help us to apply to our very own issues for solution.

    Today, AI is more immersed into Indian politics than before although they still prefer to stay together within their community in Kolkata because of complexion differences in Picnic Gardens (leaving Bow Bazaar & Eliott Road etc). Those remaining are mostly lower to middle class. Besides English, most now speak Hindi, Bengali etc. Those who could leave (affluent ones) have left and those who cannot leave (mostly poor ones) remain without choice. They have an Association with branches across India that link to those in U.S., U.K, Canada, Australia & others to pool resources & raise funds to assist their poor community folks in India with food, shelter, education etc. Annually, all AI Associations worldwide meet for reunion to discuss plans & actions for their community, especially for those remaining in India. Worldwide AI Associations have their own blogs, newsletter & people finders sites. Unlike us, the AI community worldwide is UNITED. That’s the big difference.

    AI’s have less political burdens than us in that – other than to uplift their clan in India or abroad with same goals & aspirations, they do not have our so-called “Chinese” factor that many of our younger generations would like to shed.

    About history, the bitter-sweet experiences of AI community in India have similar struggles like us on identity. With part of their ancestry background being Indian, their treatments/conditions are better than us.

    Before & after India Independence, they continue to hold priviledged supervisory jobs in Customs, Railways etc. and given a minority status in the country. Some jobs continue to pass down to next generations as given.

    On political front, they are better protected than us when they could be seen & heard with MLA’s (at States’ level) and MP’s (Central level) enshrined in Indian Constitution. This is a big plus that we lack – for us, our basic right as a legal minority ‘status” in India is not given anywhere.

    History had been written that AI bonded well with Indian Chinese started from early days. Like us, they too were shunned earlier by mainstream for eating meat (pork/beef) considered dirty by many Indians. Other reasons being that, like us, they are not part of the Indian caste system.

    Robert – based on all said in above entries:
    self image & confidence building seem to be the first rebranding course that our young community lads need. Without which, no matter how much efforts you put to enhance their soft skills, it would not pay dividends.

  16. ycl1688 says:

    Li,

    you have raised a good point on comparison between AI and Chinese, yet from what I recalled whoever the leadership was on Chinese side is, known for lining his own wallet. During 50s and 70s, KMT Chinese used to send grants to schools and associations, yet it was in the wrong hands. It is one hack of a massive unaccountable funds being diverted to private pockets, that is the tragedy of the needy on our Chinese side.

  17. Bill says:

    Li.
    Excellent comparison with the Anglo-India community. The Indian Chinese community in Calcutta should first learn to unite in common goals, then emulate the AI remaining in India to better their life.
    ycl1688,
    You brought back painful memories of the days post 1962. Let’s hope the current leadership has more integrity than the corrupt ones back then. When I went to Taiwan, I too heard about the grants sent to the leadership in Calcutta. The current and new leadership should be transparent in all of their public dealings.

  18. Ravi says:

    Robert,

    Indian Chinese youths, being Indian Citizens, have long desire to embrace their full Indian Identity; hence, it is timely that the first seminar should be on:

    Building Image Identity of Indian.

    Topics should cover:

    – What is Indian & how to look mainstream (e.g.who are they)

    – What are Indian greetings & mannerism (e.g.namaste, shukuriyah, hanji etc.)

    – what are Indian traditions (e.g.mehndi, tikka, face covering, hands folding namaskar, stone idols worship, gods/goddesses temples visit, etc.)

    – what are Indian values (e.g.elderly respect, cluster family living, etc.)

    – what are Indian attires & how to wear (e.g.turban, dhoti, lunghi, kurta, pyjama, sari, dhopata etc)

    – what are Indian food & how to prepare (e.g.curry, dal, biryani, roti, paratha, nan etc.)

    – what are Indian etiquettes (e.g.how to sit on floor, eat with fingers, be shoeless, wear chappals, street bath, worship with water, dhobi clothes wash etc.)

    – what are Indian languages (e.g.how many spoken, written, when to speak what & when Hindi, Bengali, etc.)

    – what are Indian festivals & significance (e.g.Kali, Durga, Devali, etc.)

    – what are Indian respect in streets (e.g.for rats, cows, monkeys etc.)

    Role plays and practices in groups help quick learning.

    Some NGOs have the necessary teaching tools with the right learning aids/apparatus to facilitate.

  19. Ling Tai says:

    @ Bill: First of all, please understand that those were instances of the randomness that is present in the present community. and just as my comments appears to be like a burn without visible source, our community faces the same burn therefore it is very difficult to jump to a “cure”.

    You raised a good question about what about the uneducated under-privileged ones. Our goal should be to concentrate solely on the young ones say from standard VII/ 14 year old onwards. This is the age when a child is growing up with a lot of questions about who he/she is and what he/she can be. The older ones also can be roped in but in more subtle ways because everyone knows how egos work in our community. Our aim should be to build a new breed of Indian Chinese right from the kids. The older ones are extremely difficult to handle, or to change. but with a change in the young, they will have no exception to accept that the youth can also be right. If we leave out the ’usual leaders’ in the first place, there is no room for corruption happening again. Like I said earlier, more than anything, Confidence and Attitude Workshops for both young and old is the prime need of the hour. Kids are all going to school they are all learning but when they grow up they fail to use it. for 100 years the Chinese have had one motto : “Don’t want any trouble..” so either bribe, pay, hide or run away from the “trouble”. why? because there was no sense of community. Because the country wasn’t theirs. and there was no one who could bring them closer to the society on the larger scale. Today, a guy goes to Canada and gets his passport, tomorrow u ask him what are you? he will say “I’m Canadian”. but the same guy in India will say I’m Chinese even though he was born here. and in turn he becomes a victim of harassment and the whole cycle of exodus starts again. … to be continued… need to go urgently.,

  20. Robert says:

    Hi All,
    My apologies for being ‘offline’ for so long… I have been overwhelmed by the responses and the discussions that have been happening since then.

    With respect to “Ling Tai” comment on being “chinese”, I would just like to say one thing, one of the reason why the chinese youths and chinese community in general is in the state in which they are now is the whole the over emphasis on the identity as chinese, because of which most of us particularly those in Tangra look down upon and if I may use the word “detest” Indian, looking at ourselves as Chinese as somehow being a more superior race. Due to which the interactions between the “Chinese” and the Indian has been kept to to minimum as a result they are unable to fit into the society in which we live in… which is well… Indian! What I would like to sum up is that, the sooner the “chinese” accept their identity as Indian Chinese and not just “Chinese” and learn to integrate with people we are living among the better it is for them.

    Our objective for the The Career Seminar had a much more humbler beginning, it was more for providing a much needed guidance to those chinese youths who are not sure what courses to take up and which careers can be explored.

    However after reading all the discussion as well as having an internal discussion among ourselves we are realiging our goals to a cover a wider objective. But to do that, we will need to do a deeper research on the state of how the chinese youth feel and what they want. We are looking at devising a survey so that we can receive a more comprehensive feedback and then act accordingly.

    I hope we will get a support from all of you.

    ~ Robert

  21. Li says:

    Hi Robert,

    Nice to hear from you after a long silence. Better late than never.

    On the Association’s realignment of its goals to cover a wider objective for the career seminar, I think the survey is a good starting point. The feedback will provide the priority of needs. Other than internet response for soliciting input, I was wondering how interested is the community lads to come together in a venue organized by the Association to brainstorm & present their ideas on what they think are key to them to be successful. In that way, an open forum may be a good choice & alternative option.

    I have a different view from “Ling Tai” comment on being “Chinese”.

    When living in Calcutta, I spent my childhood days mingling with neighbours from Hakka, See Ip, Cantonese, Tung Koon, Hubei, Tibetan, Nepali, Jews, Parsi, Kurseong, Muslim, Bengali, South Indian (Telegu), Punjabi and Hindi speaking Indians. I never ever felt I was Chinese and more superior race than others. In fact, I always felt I was a part of this complex multi-lingual community which given me an opportunity to pick up some language skills.

    At home, I learnt speaking & writing Chinese and at school in English, Hindi & Bengali. Again, the classmates are a mix of Chinese, Anglo-Indians & Indians (from East, West, North & South India) with English being used for communication.

    From past experience from interactions with neighbours, friends & classmates, I bonded well with fellow Chinese, Anglo-Indians, Jews and then Mulsims & South Indians. The Bengalis always kept a distance from Chinese feeling superior over us (caste system), so are the Sikhs (Punjabi) – I don’t know why.

    Strangely, I experienced the first shock of my life was when I first landed in my adopted country on emigration in late teens to find out that the brown-skin people that I was so familiar with were no longer before my eyes anymore. In fact, it took me a while to get over this where I felt denial of something taken away from me. Hence, there was never a sense of Chinese superiority over Indians. What I guess is, maybe, the current conditions of the Chinese community in India are more economically better than the past, so the modern youths felt more superior to be Chinese than to be Indian Chinese (or Indian).

    (Note: as always been and still exist, Indians look down upon Indians in India & abroad – you find them very obvious at work place !!!!! not in school though).

    I do not find Ling Tai’s comment on Indian Chinese community’s flight an issue. Indians are continually leaving India in hordes for foreign shores to better opportunity/livelihood abroad. So are Singaporeans, Malaysians, Japanese etc. leaving for the West in great numbers annually. Even Chinese in PRC are leaving for the West. With the current financial meltdown in the West, there is currently a trend of reverse flow – and that is also not surprising.

    Then, on learning to speak or write a little Chinese (that may not be ever used at all in life), I believe a language skill always remain with you forever with no regrets. What’s better to learn the language of your ethnicity than something foreign. Obviously, if one could speak Japanese, French, Spanish or others, there are as good as Indian etc. The point here is better to be multi-lingual than just how to speak/write English and Hindi. The citizens of Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands speak & write at least 3-7 languages.

    On assimilation & integration of Chinese community into mainstream Indian, I thought that it was only a cultural issue with the older Chinese in Tangra and never existed with the new generation youths who would, in fact, like to shed that “Chinese” identity. Is there something missing here ?

    To sum up, besides the Chinese community seeking out to embrace Indian cultures & values, the Indian masses should also show their acceptance to Indian Chinese. Like Anglo-Indians and other minority groups, it is time for the State to help them with a voice on the Legislative Assembly. This will give the Indian Chinese a sense of belonging to the community they live in.

    Robert, keep us posted here on the developments of the seminar. Cheers.

  22. ycl1688 says:

    Robert,

    Here is what I can sense from your uphill task, the youth from Tangra area get their livelihood passed from previous generation, if you dad owns a tannery you just stay in that line of business. How would you expect a tannery owner’s son to compete for a job with say working in a call center ? Some will thumb their noses at working outside of their own profession. In other words they are comfortable to being their own boss.

  23. Robert says:

    ycl1688,
    What I feel is we need to look beyond Call Centre and Chinese Interpretation job, that was one more reason for this Career Seminar… to look beyond Call Centres and Chinese Interpretation job… why can’t we become Lawyers, CA, Programmers or Graphic Designer in the mainstream, I can actually cite examples of chinese who is doing well in these profession, so it is very much acheiveable. All we need is a sense of doing something for ourselves.

    Li, I think the integration with the mainstream society is not as much a problem with the us the none Tangra chinese, because we are used to interacting with them day in and day out, my apologies for repeatedly drawing a line between the “tangra” and “none-tangra” chinese but I feel this is how things stand, I would be happy if someone tell me its otherwise.

    As for the live forum and getting together, we are planning to try to cover as many houses and having a chat with the family there, beside the online survey. Since me and most of my team stays are not from Tangra, we are not very familiar with the youths there. So we would be more than happy if someone from Tangra could volunteer to help us feel the pulse of the Youth there… If anyone of you could suggest to us on how to go about doing a survey there I it would be of great help to us.

    ~ Robert

  24. Li says:

    Robert,

    Thanks for quick response. I think your comments are justifiable on integration into mainstream differ between non-Tangra and Tangra Chinese youths. While this is factual & due situational, I do not think anyone should feel offended with drawing the line.

    I fully agree that Indian Chinese youths should look beyond Call Centre BPO or Chinese Interpreting jobs.

    For those with entreprenual spirits & have financial support should think about setting-up business to fulfill their aspirations/dreams. The saying: Nothing venture nothing gain.

    While those who would want to stay-put with family tradition business like eateries, tanning, dentistry, beauty parlours etc., that’s also fine. (Whether this is a forced pass-down or not is questionable. Also, being one’s own boss in family tradition business for generations may have etched the youths’ mentality to stay within the comfort zone rather than to take risks outside).

    However, there are lots more opportunities outside this framework still untapped that are achievable by our youths like civil/electrical engineers, lawyers, accountants, medical doctors, hotel management, computer hardware/software engineers etc. In these areas, I know that non-Tangra youths are more forceful getting into these professional positions while most from more humble family backgrounds. For many, it is a given career trend.

    Here, I hope all youths who are reading this to actively participate in the survey to give inputs & encourage others to do the same. For others not reading, hope Leon may help to spread the request by word of mouth or through other publicity campaign by door to door check in Tangra.

  25. leon says:

    well since i’m not in tangra right now i think i won’t be able to help in the door to door check maybe through online that’s it.

    by the way has anyone thought of blogging as a career ? ^^

    -leon

  26. Li says:

    Hi Robert,

    Much has been said about this one of its kind forthcoming seminar.

    what is the progress and outcome of all the discussions ? Any update for those reading who are giving you full support.

  27. Robert says:

    Hi Li,
    Am fully guilty as charged for not been giving updates on Seminar, well I have been and is still tied up with some work in the weekends, so the seminar has been put to the back burner for sometime, atleast till I complete what I am doing. All your valuable inputs and discussion will definitely be much help when we do start again. Till then will keep you all posted if something come up.
    Regards,
    Robert

  28. M.Su says:

    Its been great to know that so many people are concerned. Though Robert is badly tied down with his professional work, im sure he is getting back onto the job very soon, he is not the kind who will let any one down. Even though he works till 9pm most of the week and for the record he stayed back in the office a few times to finish his project. No wonder the corporate of India are doing so well.
    Robert will need the support of all of us, ( since I see a lot of experts here. )
    Keep on rolling Robert………..
    Looking forward to the coming one’s
    Thank you!!

  29. ycl1688 says:

    Robert,

    Everyone expected you to be a Moses, who can part the Red Sea, here is one simple
    thing you can do, contact those Dhapa restaurant owners, they have higher management looking to them for food, by passing words around which companies doing
    the hiring and someone can set their feet in the company, in return the customers can get some free food, it is a matter of influence that solve problems, you help me i help you logic that may do the trick.

    Good luck.

  30. holstein says:

    After all these interesting discussions, what happened to the Seminar.
    Is it set on motion ? Would love to know about its progress, results and
    any way we can help..

  31. Robert says:

    Hi Holstein,
    Thanks for your concern, there is slight change in plan. We are working on a different formula (Slightly on a different scale.) Hopefully it will work out and soon. We will keep you posted. yes we will need all the expertise possible.
    Take Care.

  32. mimiwong says:

    this is an intresting workshop but there are so many other chinese youths in other parts of the country who are unknown of such opportunities,it would be better if a man to man survey is done in every state so that they can take these type of advantage and put their effort to find jobs and secure their identity.