Saturday, September 10, 2016

How can I react people's unpleasant acts? - experiencing discriminatory acts of people


At a crossing, in the Hague, I was shocked by this loud voice from the behind. I remained seated on my bicycle saddle and twisted my body to search the speaker because I noticed I was the only one who looked like Chinese (east Asian).

There were three boys, two rode in tandem looked at me. They continued throwing something very impolite abusive language toward me.
I looked straight these boys and denied I am not a Chinese. And I told them it is totally impolite to approach someone like this. I added if they did such act based on race, it can possibly be called discrimination. Two boys became silence and one was still saying something in Dutch and throw the last word - Xss whXle (in English) - toward me. Am I aXs whoXe?

It happened just within minutes while waiting for a traffic sign. There were many other adults around me and observed our exchanges.

The advice of my husband is usually, just ignore them. Yes, I can agree with this certain conditions. When the person is totally drunk or having a knife or something.

In some other sunny weekend, my husband and I were in the park enjoying sunlight and nature. One guy blocked our way and mocked us.
One fact annoyed me the most was he did not act like this to others who looked Dutch or bigger than him. He was drunk but obviously, he picked us, "small Asian" to mock. So, it would be nice to ignore even though I opt to respond these people who are so unreasonable.

However, I, in general, disagree with ignoring these people. Why?

First of all, it is very important to let them know we are not so comfortable with what these people acted or done. They should know they do not have any right to ruin our day with unpleasant acts or comments.

Second, unpleasant acts against certain race is a form of discrimination. If a certain act is categorized as discrimination, the person possibly violates the Dutch constitution. In the Dutch constitution article 1, "All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race, or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted."

Lastly, I would like to say all elements made us who we are may not be our choice, especially race and nationality. We did not choose our parents and we could not ask them where they lived. Once we were born, we already belonged to a certain racial group. So, these were not controllable.

I encountered often people made fun of East Asian's smaller eyes. People pulled their eyes horizontally and said that is Japanese, Korean or Chinese. It is not nice to see because my appearance is not my choice. Do I need to have plastic surgery to make my eyes bigger?

Even we received more abusive words from these people as the result of reacting them, we should not stop saying that what they are doing is not right. If our argument defends our position well, what they said is just a senseless noise.

There is no perfect solution. 

There is no perfect solution to this issue. Especially if we travel a lot or live outside of our countries, this kind of experiences is not avoidable. More we encounter different culture and people, more we may have possibilities to experience these.

Lastly, going back to the story above, I was, to be honest, not so angry at these children because the gravity they have done is not serious than an adult who is supposed to know the idea of discrimination does.

I thought that these kids found cool to mock adults by using slang (in Dutch and English) and approaching an adult unpleasant manner. And the especially one child may want to show he was not afraid of the adult? Or simply they did not know how acknowledge our obvious physical difference? It was too short to ask them why they were doing such things. It is important to know reasons and how they feel when they do that.

No solutions, then we have to live with the reality. But at least, we can clarify whether actions taken by these with the intention or not? What is the basis of these actions? If we find the certain grounds that we can say a person discriminate us, then we resist them by saying NO to these actions.

I am sure that I will experience this kind of unpleasant situations as long as I live outside of my country. In fact, I did have these here in the Hague in just three months time. But the incident won't let my spirit down and never discourage to explore other cultures and to understand people.

** I did not mention the detail of these people in the sentence in order to avoid to cause any conflicts.

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