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How much racism in HK?

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  1. #81

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    It seems to me that nobody yet has mentioned bullying in the office. I work in a university. All is good when the head of department is Hong Konger or foreigner, but as soon as the head of department is from the mainland there is massive bullying (towards me, a European). I wonder if the same happens in other industries?

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  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_1122:
    It seems to me that nobody yet has mentioned bullying in the office. I work in a university. All is good when the head of department is Hong Konger or foreigner, but as soon as the head of department is from the mainland there is massive bullying (towards me, a European). I wonder if the same happens in other industries?
    Anecdotally I've heard similar stories about entire teams being bullied out by a change of management like that - at traditional hongs like Jardines no less...

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_1122:
    It seems to me that nobody yet has mentioned bullying in the office. I work in a university. All is good when the head of department is Hong Konger or foreigner, but as soon as the head of department is from the mainland there is massive bullying (towards me, a European). I wonder if the same happens in other industries?
    No not just you. But also from HongKongers with more mainland sympathies. They couldn't bully but obstruction, badmouthing behind my back, etc. I was the last gweilo left working with them.

  4. #84

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    Well, it happened in two universities. I think the first one couldn't stand me because I didn't do research in China, and I don't speak Chinese. He just couldn't understand the point of a gwailo who doesn't speak Chinese and doesn't even do research in China working in "his" department. Once he told me "it's ok not to be Chinese".

    In the second one, I don't really know where the hatred comes from, since he was ok before becoming head of department. I think he doesn't like the fact that I don't kiss his ass, and just wants to replace me with one of his own.

  5. #85

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    Could be, yes. But the first guy kept reminding me that Hong Kong is China. Surely the fact that I am not Chinese had a big impact on his disliking me. At least that's what he said/strongly implied.

    The second guy is just an asshole. No, he has no power to fire me, but I am fed up and will be leaving once my contract ends.
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  6. #86

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    I think it's also related to the very theatrical reverence that is going on among Chinese.

    First, I don't now most of the things I am supposed to do, and it usually sounds a bit ridiculous to me. For example, when I toast I am supposed to put my glass lower than his, and make a speech how great he is? Haha. Ridiculous.

    Second, it's just silly. I am ok with that if I have a meal with some high ranking government officers or university person, but why should I do it towards someone who just happens to have been made head of department for the next 3 years, because nobody else was available.

    So I guess it comes down partly to cultural differences?


  7. #87

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    I remember a case in Singapore, many years ago. They had an open day at the president's palace, so I went to visit. It's a nice place, with a large garden. At some point I was in the garden, and people started to clap and run in a direction. So I did as well, just for the fun. It turns out it was the president (at that time it was Mr. Nathan), who was going around on a golf cart shaking hands with visitors. I made my way there as well. Not that I care, but I never shook the hand of a president... After a few moments it was my turn, he was sitting in the cart just in front of me, I stretched my hand straight in front of him, and I said something like "it's a pleasure to meet you, sir". He looked at me straight in the eyes for several seconds, then he decided not to shake my hands, turned around and started shaking hands on the other side of his golf cart.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_1122:
    I think it's also related to the very theatrical reverence that is going on among Chinese.

    First, I don't now most of the things I am supposed to do, and it usually sounds a bit ridiculous to me. For example, when I toast I am supposed to put my glass lower than his, and make a speech how great he is? Haha. Ridiculous.

    Second, it's just silly. I am ok with that if I have a meal with some high ranking government officers or university person, but why should I do it towards someone who just happens to have been made head of department for the next 3 years, because nobody else was available.

    So I guess it comes down partly to cultural differences?
    While I don't doubt some actions toward you may be aggregious, you really should try to understand cultural norms that are second nature to locals. It would help you to succed in THIS environment as you are not in your home country where the expectations are different. So a local may look at you and say this gwelo feels entitled to do whatever he wants and then you are no longer in the innner circle at your place of employment. If a HKer or a Mainlander went to New York and didn't find his niche or work thier way into the ole boy's circle, don't you think that would affect his or her career trajectory? So why do you feel entitled? Because you are white? Give me a break. Its not their racism toward you. Its about fitting in and talking the chip off your shoulder IMO.

    BTW I post this as a constructive way for you to look at things from a different angle not to shit on you so don't take my opinion and suggestion the wrong way. Also, Mainlanders, unlike some but not all HKers, tend to be elitist in their thinking and are not going to acquiese to Western tendencies and norms. You need to accept that if you want to work here or find a platform to operate from where Westerners dominate.
    Last edited by RMDNC; 05-10-2020 at 10:03 PM.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_1122:
    Could be, yes. But the first guy kept reminding me that Hong Kong is China. Surely the fact that I am not Chinese had a big impact on his disliking me. At least that's what he said/strongly implied.

    The second guy is just an asshole. No, he has no power to fire me, but I am fed up and will be leaving once my contract ends.
    If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone in your situation. There are other expats that is facing an ugly HK office environment just like you. I had some similiar experience to you, had two nasty colleagues who won't cease sniping behind my back and trying to paint me in the worst possible light on every occasion. There were awful days when I just barely could controlled my temper as I wanted to just give both of them a swift right hook. But I manage to turn around the situation because I had a supportive boss who wasn't willing to put up with the bullsh*t of those two. In the end, one of them transferred to another department upon the "recommendation" of my boss and the other resigned due to "personal reasons".

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_1122:
    I remember a case in Singapore, many years ago. They had an open day at the president's palace, so I went to visit. It's a nice place, with a large garden. At some point I was in the garden, and people started to clap and run in a direction. So I did as well, just for the fun. It turns out it was the president (at that time it was Mr. Nathan), who was going around on a golf cart shaking hands with visitors. I made my way there as well. Not that I care, but I never shook the hand of a president... After a few moments it was my turn, he was sitting in the cart just in front of me, I stretched my hand straight in front of him, and I said something like "it's a pleasure to meet you, sir". He looked at me straight in the eyes for several seconds, then he decided not to shake my hands, turned around and started shaking hands on the other side of his golf cart.
    Very unpresidential and rude of him.

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