By James Yang, Student at Breck School
I saw the basketball game of Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. I saw the only Chinese on the court, Jeremy Lin. He is well known and popular. Many Chinese are proud of him as he does a fantastic job in the NBA, but maybe not so many Americans think so. As soon as Jeremy got the ball, some Americans began to tease him loudly. At first I thought it was because they didn’t like the Houston Rockets, but later, I found out that they only shouted when Jeremy held the ball, and I began to wonder why.
Jeremy is an American-born Chinese. He looked Chinese, but all of his identities show that his nationality is American. The only thing that makes him unique from others is the color of his skin. A few days after the game was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Martin Luther King Jr. claimed equality for the people even with different skin colors. However, it requires both the tolerance of Americans to other colors and the hard work other nations make to integrate to the local community. I think the reason why Chinese are still not fully accepted by some Americans is because we usually block ourselves in a small group that mostly consists of Chinese and don’t spread ourselves to other American communities, which makes a huge community of Chinese not so influential in United States.
When I was young, my mom told me that to make others respect you, you had to have good grades. After several months in the United States, I found out that to make you respectful, you have to show your ability, not only in academics, but also in various activities and getting along with each other. Now, after the basketball game, I know, no matter how strong our abilities are; we will never get to leave a huge expression on Americans if Chinese only hang out with Chinese. We need to integrate into this society, the society we are in now.
For a small portion of a nation’s people to adapt in another nation, it requires it to show the power of a nation. However, the exhibition of the power could only be made by those people that live in the foreign nation, just like us, Chinese. Although most of the Chinese have pretty good grades, it won’t impact the impression of others to us because studying is only an individual ability and what we have to show them is more of an ability of being in a group. For example, we have to show others how well we get along with others.
However, making Chinese more adaptable to USA is not only beneficial to those that come to USA, but also beneficial to Chinese people who are born in USA, such as Jeremy Lin. Since more and more Chinese come to USA, Americans cannot really identify what kind of Chinese you are. Therefore, we have to improve the impression of us to the Americans by getting away from our own friend circles and integrating into the society of America.
Editor’s Note: China Insight invited a few students to write an article on what they observed during the Timberwolves-Rockets game. James Yang is a visiting student from Shanghai, China, now attending Breck School as a sophomore, who is living with a host family.