Friday, January 28, 2011

Episode 858: No, I Will Not Attend Your Gala

Neglected to mention an amusing thing that happened to me yesterday at the Library. I was going to zap a copy of Susan Sontag's essay, 'Against Interpretation', and as I was about to go up the stairs, I was accosted by this mainland Chinese girl, trying to hard sell the Chinese Society's annual Chinese New Year gala. While I didn't have a problem with her giving me a flyer, immediately following that by asking if I wanted to buy a ticket right now was going a bit far. So I bluntly told her no, and it was absolutely delicious to see her surprised expression, as if I'd threatened to slap her in the face or something. To add insult to (her) injury, she offered me another flyer (in colour this time) when I came down the stairs about 10 minutes later, but despite being assured that the gala would be very interesting, I still told her I wasn't buying a ticket. Look, just because we happen to share the same skin colour doesn't mean I necessarily want to attend your gala, however interesting it will be. This is quite possibly one of the few things that really annoy me, when people make assumptions about me based on my ethnicity. It's not that I'm self-hating; it's simply that my racial ancestry doesn't form a part of how I'd normally define myself. It was her expectation of solidarity, I suppose, that bothered me, as I knew without a doubt that the fact that I was Chinese was the only reason why she approached me. There were loads of people going up and down the stairs at the time, and she wasn't exactly racing to get them to buy tickets to the gala, was she?

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