Sunday, October 28, 2007

I-G-N-O-R-A-N-T


If there's one thing in the world I can't stand, it's IGNORANCE. I have some pretty strong opinions and I don't mind standing up for things that matter to me. I just cannot stand stupid people. I don't mean people who are unintelligent. I mean people who are just ridiculously closed minded and just plain oblivious that there's a world outside of the one they know.

Tonight, we had an AMAZING time. It was a girls' night out. I don't usually go out anymore, since I'm married and don't really enjoy going out late and frequenting bars, nightclubs or pubs anymore. That's just me. It's not that I'm boring or that I'm an old married woman. It's not that. I don't know. I just don't have the desire or stamina to be out so late. I've got things to do in the morning and can't sleep in.

My student has never experienced Halloween before, as they don't celebrate it in her country. A girlfriend suggested going to a few Halloween parties tonight to show my student some "Canadian" culture. Lots of people dressed up and there were prizes for the best costumes. There were beverages and refreshments, and the music was great to dance to.
Here's where the ignorance comes in. We were all having an amazing time. My student was enjoying herself tremendously, just minding her own business and having fun, when this girl dancing next to her just out right starts talking about my student with her friends and giving her these looks! She was totally being a little "bee with an itch" (okay, this is a G-Rated blog and I don't like to use the word 'beeeeeeotch'). I was soooooo mad! Thankfully, one of the girls we were with told the girl off (J, you are my hero, by the way!). After a bit of threatening looks from J across the dance floor, the girl and her friend sort of got the hint and stopped being witchy.

It bothers me that the girls were being witchy when my student wasn't even doing anything. J said that the girls were either:

A) Totally small town, have never seen an Asian person before and were just plain racist.

OR

B) They were totally jealous that my student was way prettier than them and felt threatened by her.

Either way, it really ticked me off. If they were so racist and trash talked her because she was Asian, then they need to get a life and learn that the world is full of people from different places. Maybe it's because I'm from a big city and multiculturalism is something I'm accustomed to. Maybe it's because I've traveled all over the world and know that there are so many wonderful countries and cultures out there. I just don't understand why anyone would treat someone badly just because they're not the same culture, skin colour, religion, or whatever. I grew up knowing that we should treat people fairly, regardless of our differences. If someone has never done anything horrible to you, then why treat them with anything less than the respect and kindness they deserve? So far, my student has been a hit with everyone she's met. She is a really sweet, intelligent, and fun person. Up until this incident, everyone has really liked her. I know I can't shelter her from ignorance and that ignorance is part of life.

Even if those girls were feeling threatened by my student, why would they blatantly and so obviously talk about her while she was standing right next to them? It baffles me how stupid some girls can be. Just have fun, enjoy your time with your friends and stop ruining a perfectly good time.

I told my student what had happened while we were driving home. She was laughing hysterically because she had absolutely no clue that all this was going on! I love that! She's in her own little world :) She still loves the island and she still loves Halloween! She actually said this was one of the best times she's had in Canada! She's got such a wonderful attitude and approach to life! She's lovely.

Here we are, being total goofballs in our costumes.

10 comments:

Uncivil said...

You both look marvelous in your matching red outfits. Hmmmmm kind of matches your temper right now huh? I think the caucasion girls were just plain jealous!!!

Karen MEG said...

I'm glad your student was oblivious to that incident! I suspect they were gossiping about her (to her face - duh?!) because she is so lovely - probably getting a lot of the attention they wanted. Who can compete with such cute, Asian women?

But seriously,that sort of small-mindedness is unfortunately not so hard to find these days, despite how far we feel we've progressed in society (eg. have you seen what's going on in little town Quebec, and those statements uttered by Dr. DNA Watson recently?).

We were lucky to grow up in an environment that celebrates differences, and I myself never experienced any of that blatant discrimination. My sister only did after she went out to Vancouver for school, and it was the shock of her life.

I remember reading a line quoted from Lisa Ray (she was the actress in that movie Water), she's of mixed heritage. To paraphrase, I think she said something to the effect that if the world were made up of mixed marriages, it would be a lot more peaceful place. I guess I'm doing my lot for world peace!

But this school cultural project of Liam's really opened his eyes too. A couple of his friends told him they never would have thought he was Chinese, and he was so proud to share it with them. Or maybe he thought it was like a cool secret. Nevertheless, they were so interested and enriched by hearing him talk about his background.

So I think there's still hope with this next generation, especially with teachers such as yourself educating and demonstrating cultural respect and admiration with your students.

OMG, sorry for the longest comment EVAH LOL!

C said...

Uncivil:
Thank you! :) LOL! Yes, red was definitely an appropriate colour to dress in! I was really burned up when that stupid girl was talking about my student RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER! It's like, who does she think she is??? That behaviour just really, really irritates me.

C said...

Karen:
HOOOOORAY for long comments, girlfriend!! I LOVE that you wrote an novel of epic proportions! :) I agree with everything you said.

I never really experienced any noticeable discrimination in my life. I grew up in a Francophone neighbourhood, where my cousins, brothers and I were the only Asian people around. There were times some French kids would utter derogatory comments, but that was rare. I remember once, my cousin was riding his bike and some French kids were waiting on either side of the bike path and held a rope across so when he rode past, they knocked him off his bike. He had a red mark on his neck from where they got him with the rope. I remember my ENTIRE family going after those kids. My uncles, cousins, granfather...they all went to the kids' houses and had some words with their parents! Needless to say, we never had any problems since.

Some people are just plain ignorant. I hope that for the next generations to come that we will find a way to accept others and live in peace with others. We've come a long way in terms of acceptance and tolerance, but unfortunately there are still some people out there who just can't seem to rise above their ignorance. Unfortunately, by being ignorant, they are excluded a whole bunch of people in their lives who are caring, intelligent, fun, and worth getting to know.

My mom always said to treat others the way you'd want to be treated. I try to treat people kindly and with respect because that's how I'd like to be treated.

My husband and I were talking about what happened last night. I was terribly upset by that one incident. Hubby said that I need to understand that some people just have never come into contact with an Asian person before and that people react adversely to things that are different from what they know. I know this and I understand this, but it still doesn't make it right. I still cannot imagine treating anyone like CRAP because they are different from me. I just don't understand that part.

I got lucky and married someone who is so open and understanding about culture and differences. To me, people are people...regardless of culture, creed or religion. I never ever discriminate when it comes to people's cutlure or religion. In terms of how to treat people, I treat them as people. To me, people are people. End of story.

LOL! I guess this is my seriously LONG response to your wonderfully long comment! ;)

mrinz said...

I am pleased that they were confronted about their behaviour, hopefully they may never do this again.

japanmanpete said...

Ignorant people are people are insecure in themselves. I don't discriminate. I'm a very 'white' English bloke and I snog women of all cultures! Would you say I were discriminating if I said I prefer only going with Japanese girls?

-Pete

BeachMama said...

I am so thankful that your student only found out about it after the fact. I just don't know what it is about some women or should I say girls. They just get catty. My theory is jealousy. Although I wasn't there, I have heard my share of bee... itchy comments and it always seem to stem from jealousy. I hope your student continues to have a great time and sorry your evening was interrupted by such awful girls.

Love the costumes :)

Anonymous said...

your student's cute. they're just jealous

Uncivil said...

C
You and I are alike in some ways. You go out of your way to respect other people, but when they disrespect you or your friends....whoaaaaa Katy bar the door!!!!!LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Social injustice in any shape or form is wrong. Be it because of one's sex, creed, age, religion, sexual orientation, the color of one's skin- it's wrong to treat people horribly period.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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