Being Black In China: 10 Situations You Will Experience
Between 20,000 and 200,000 Sub-Saharan Africans live in the Guangzhou region in China. Guangzhou is famous for hosting “Chocolate City”, the famous African neighborhood. In a country where being white is a sign of beauty, a black person walking down the streets can experience many funny situations. Marjanne Mabialah, a Junior Digital Marketer at the Gentlemen Marketing Agency, shares her story living in Shanghai.
1. The “Oh My Goodness” reaction!
Imagine you were walking in a metro station, and suddenly, you run into a Chinese person. He will be so surprised to see you that he will be staring at you until he loses sight of you.
A piece of advice: act as surprised as he is!
2. The “You are so beautiful!” reaction
It is the type of reaction that puts you in a pleasant mood. Someone will look at you with a big smile, and will remind you how beautiful you are. And if you are able to say a word or two in Mandarin you will get a bonus. “You speak Mandarin so well!”, they will say.
A piece of advice: take advantage of the moment and show your biggest smile!
3. The protective boyfriend
He is the kind of boyfriend that will pull his girlfriend against his chest every time you walk by them.
A piece of advice: walk close to them… really close.
4. The incognito selfie
This is the ninja method the Chinese will use to take a picture of you. They will fake an urgent need to take a selfie, and then include you in the photo.
A piece of advice: act as if you haven’t seen anything, then strike a pose.
5. The invasive selfie
Someone will take a picture of you, without even hiding, and with the camera’s flash right in your face!
A piece of advice: charge them 10 Kuai (Yuan).
6. The scared child
As soon as he sees you, he will try to avoid you at any cost. Scared, he’s going to run to his parents and cry.
A piece of advice: smile! He will either be reassured, or he will find you even more scary.
7. The clueless kid
This kid will stare at you for hours. No matter how many obstacles there are between the two of you, he will find a way to keep his eyes on you.
A piece of advice: engage in a staring contest with him.
8. The “Where are you originally from ?” question
Many of you have heard this question before. As a black French woman, whenever Chinese people ask me where I am from and I answer Faguo (France), there is a bizarre sensation in the atmosphere. Then, they ask me if I am joking. “How on Earth can you be French?”. Then I am like OK, if you say so…
A piece of advice: now is the time to tell them the truth. You were raised by a family of lions in the jungle LOL…
9. The Chinese who covers his nose
This is just uncalled for and it is not funny at all.
A piece of advice: do the same! Smell the person who is covering his nose.
10. Being compared to a celebrity
This doesn’t happen only in China. People tend to believe that all black people look alike and that they are somehow all related. Don’t be surprised if a Chinese person compares you to a random black celebrity. They all had their share, Oprah, Diddy, Balotelli, and Obama…
A piece of advice: just say “yes that’s me!”