Hangzhou City Profile
Dominic Law CISHZ
Question: What does racial inequality and equality look like in a city?
Dominic LawMr Kinzer 27 April 2015
Quote on Racial Equality:
I say to you quite frankly that the time for racial discrimination is over.
Racial equality states the equal regards to all races. Easily said, it states the simple regard that people of different races need to be treated equally and fairly. Often also referring to the belief of social equality of people from different races, it stands as the goal of most modern political movements.
This is my third and last tackk profile which I will investigate my final city of Hangzhou, China. As stated in my previous tackk, I first came into interest with the question of racial equality through an MUN conference in CISSMUN (Concordia International School Shanghai Model United Nations). Debating on the topic of racial equality, it raised many question throughout my mind. I was part of a team which was writing a resolution of rules and regulations which could protect people of different races, especially ethnic minorities. Until then, my understanding of racial equality was fairly small to an extent that all I had heard about racial equality as more of a political phrase or stance and it never stood in my mind as an actual occurring problem.
One reoccurring thought of my project over the weeks is the constant battle of my peers and classmates, asking me about my interest to the problem. Why would I do gender equality? Hong Kong and New York are both first class cities in the world, home to economic power and wealth. Still, gender equality still lingers in the city. But Hangzhou ? Many people's impression of Hangzhou lingers mostly towards two things : Westlake and long jing tea leaves. However, after living for a year in Hangzhou, I have grown closer to the city and more emotionally attached toward the area. China's political stance on racial inequality is somewhat unknown and undeveloped in many ways, as the Chinese government actually does not give much thought about these grassroots problems.
Another reason to a newfound discovery in this tackk profile is the change of my statement of enquiry. My previous enquiry was quite open and too broad, asking about gender equality in the city that I was doing. My question today however, focuses on What does racial inequality and equality look like in a city? How do we view racial inequality in Hangzhou through personal experiences and stimulus. Through the profile of Hangzhou, I would like to investigate different sources and websites that could aid me to my interest in knowing more about Hangzhou's problems with gender inequality.
How has Hangzhou been affected by gender equality?
How has Hangzhou (China’s) rapid economic growth aid gender equality?
How do people in China (Hangzhou) think of gender equality compared to other cities (Hong Kong etc etc) ?
Overview Background Information links:
In order to find background information about New York, I decided to search up information in three sectors, like my previous Asian City profile with Hong Kong and my international with New York. Historical, economical and cultural understandings are important to one’s knowledge of Hangzhou, especially with it's diverse cultures. The following webpages are listed below respectively. I believe that this step is crucial to one's basic information of a city as this step greatly aided my knowledge to my Hangzhou in my previous city profile. Honestly speaking, I found this step to be fairly important, one thing to keep in mind is the bias of the article/ webpage.
Undertanding Hangzhou from a foreign context
Ok, a lot of people would definitely question this step of using trip advisor towards understanding Hangzhou. The legitimacy of the source, the types of biased opinions that may appear on this sad website might go through your mind.
However, rest be assured. This trip advisor of Hangzhou has really been one of the best websites that I have stumbled upon when trying to find information of this Chinese city. Firstly, the outline of the website is simple, and easy to navigate- from the basic details of the city to sights of the city. Secondly, we are able to view Hangzhou from a foreign context which really brings us towards the main point of using trip advisor. As trip advisor is mainly a blog spot for tourists and critics, the reviews do not necessarily review nicely and there are problems of biased opinions. In this webpage, we can find problems of foreign tourists in China which can somehow relate to our problem of racial equality. Language barrier, scamming of foreign tourists etc have led towards the border of these problems.
(figure 1 Hua, Ling Xu. "Hangzhou Government." Hangzhou. English Government, 2 May 2010. Web. 30 May 2015. <http://eng.hangzhou.gov.cn>.)
This webpage is crated by the local Hangzhou government with information on different types of economical and political stances in Hangzhou. Interestingly, the side bar on the left has the "social life", AKA a review of the different things for social events in Hangzhou. This webpage however written for locals, is obviously catered towards expats and foreign business man whom are living or investing in Hangzhou. However, as it is a government webpage, we are still able to gain legitimate information.
Cases of racial inequality in the City of Hangzhou
Ramon celebrates by eating banana - No racism
The article above talks about a Hangzhou Greentown match against Tianjin Taida and is possibly the closest related article towards myself which is related to racism. Having watched many Greentown games during my one year, Ramon has been quite an influential person in my football life here, as I have watched him play and improve over the times in Hangzhou. A hero to many of the Greentown fans, the brazillian born striker is one of the most talented and well respected strikers in the Chinese Super League. So it was by no surprise that his actions of celebrating by eating a banana ( this is due to a ongoing theme #no racism where football players suffered hits from bananas being thrown from stands in Italy and Spain - see case of Kevin Constant of AC Milan). The act of this celebration shows the true side of Ramon's character and his battle against racism. Although not known by many of the local Chinese fans, this celebration truly shows his personal battle against racism.
Literature written on Racial Inequal
杭州女人 which directly translates into "hangzhou women" is a book about different inequality matters in Hangzhou.Written by a anonymous author, the book was published in the 1980s and covers topics of inequality in Hangzhou.
Although the book mainly focuses on gender inequality, the story itself also covers up pieces and memoirs of real life events of racial inequality, especially with correlation to Religion. For example, there are questions relating towards islam (targeting middle Eastern) as well as tibetans and Mongolians. This introduced me to a new type of racial inequality in China which was the ongoing battle with their border neighbours Tibet and Mongolia.
The stanza above also answers one of my subquestions regarding to Hong Kong. As said in the book, the author describes Hong Kong to be a "cultural mess" as the "white imperialists". This shows the ignorance and disrespect shown by the Chinese media during the time towards Hong Kong.
No racism- Hangzhou Foreign Language School
Quote from article:
This article is a student published by the nearby Hangzhou Foreign Language school, considered as one of the most prominent schools in Zhejiang province. As seen in the article, it talks about Gao Zhong （高中）or High school students establishing talks on the point of racial inequality. This is a interesting article as it covers perspectives of the students, noting that schools and education systems are taking advantage of their current situations and allowing students to explore more controversial topics. I hope that future Chinese students can learn more about racial inequality in order to join forces for the ongoing battle of abolishing racism.
Where can we find ethnic minorities in Hangzhou ?
The marked area above shows the Eshan Ethnic minority town, located in Tong Lu. Interestingly enough, I travel every Wednesday to Tong Lu for grassroots football activities.
Hangzhou Expats: How do they view the locals ?
As seen from above, this is one very important article written by a expat living in Hangzhou. The blog post talks about their views on Hangzhou locals on the whole "Nightlife scene in Hangzhou" . From an expat view, although there is no direct confrontation of "racial inequality", there are obviously sights of this problem. This is directly related towards the city of Hangzhou as most of these nightclubs are located in downtown districts of Hangzhou. I believe that this article is quite relevant towards my city profile as well as answering my subquestion of how economic growth stunned racial inequality in Hangzhou.
Conclusion and Looking into the Future
Racial inequality is a problem which lingers throughout society. From the world's most democratic city of New York, to the capital of "east meets west" Hong Kong, we can see that these problems are still unsolved in society. Through these three city profiles, I was given the opportunity to do the unthinkable, to finish something that I could only dream of doing. My days in Hangzhou are almost over, however my research about the city has just briefly begun. I hope that the world itself would step up as one to tackle this ongoing problem. Thanks must be given to Mr K and all the referenced websites for their help, as well as the tackk platform.
Sternback, Peter. "Hangzhou Forum." Hangzhou Safe for Foreigners to Party? Geoexpat, 2 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 May 2015. <http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298559-i7153-k5668866-Hangzhou_safe_for_foreigners_to_party-Hangzhou_Zhejiang.html>.
Hua, Ling Xu. "Hangzhou Government." Hangzhou. English Government, 2 May 2010. Web. 30 May 2015. <http://eng.hangzhou.gov.cn>.
There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion.