Subscribe to SmallPlanet

Adapting for Special Needs Overseas - Call for Essays

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Beijing



Are there problems with ethnic or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not that I have seen in five months. - Oct 24, 2017
This is an unusual aspect of life in China. Most Chinese people, especially those you are likely to interact with in the retail/service industry, have never been abroad and can probably count the number of long conversations they've had with a foreigner on one hand. Usually this translates to friendly curiosity, especially if you speak Chinese. There are downsides: you will never blend in, they will always treat you like you need to have your hand held through everything, you will have your photo taken A LOT, and most frustratingly, you will find that cabs CONSTANTLY pass you up on the street. Cabbies never speak English here, are often very rough, and generally don't want to deal with us "laowai." - Dec 3, 2015
We are an African-American family and do not find any prejudices. The Chinese are very INTERESTED in how different we look, and often try to touch our hair or stare... but my personal opinion is that it is just because they don't see people that don't look like them very much and not a prejudice. - Apr 12, 2015
No religion per se in China. I sometimes go to a so-called church but it's really not a church like you might think of. No masses either. There are Buddhist temples around for the locals to make wishes and burn incense. For me, the smoke is too much and my lungs just choke up around it, kind of like an intense second hand smoke. - Aug 17, 2014
I haven't suffered any problems, but my friends who are African-American have had people say some very rude things to them. The government here does make a point of separating foreign places of worship from Chinese ones. - Jul 18, 2014
For expats, not that I've heard. - Jun 19, 2013
Definitely, all of the above. Almost everyone here sees dollar signs light up over foreigners' heads and take every opportunity to bilk you for more money. Most Chinese also very much dislike black people. Women are considered inferior to men. Gatherings (religious services, etc.) are prohibited without advance approval; the government actively persecutes followers of Falun Gong. - Aug 27, 2011
Nope... I am sure if I were to press the issue in regards to religion it would become one really quick. - Apr 7, 2011
Yes, definitely. You are "laowai" and while Chinese are unfailingly polite in business and friendship, you will never be one of them. - Jan 18, 2011
There are no real racial or gender issues that I've noticed. But you will be stared at and photographed incessantly if you stand out physically in any way. - Apr 29, 2010
Not so much gender prejudice. Religion is a difficult issue in China, and so is race. - Jan 26, 2010