Tagged: Laowai

Wai Guo Ren!

Living in China (as stated previously) has it’s ups and downs. One down in particular was the day I learned the word, “Wai Guo Ren”! – the English translation being Foreigner.  There is not one day that passes where it’s shouted at you at least 10 times. Children shout it, teenagers shout it; adults shout it and old people shout it. . Some people mutter it, some stop and point, “Wai Guo Ren” WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN, WAI GUO REN! Laowai means, “Old Foreigner” which is also used on occasion.

After eight months this can become a little annoying, as I don’t walk around China shouting, Chinese person at everyone I pass; well I didn’t until I learned the Mandarin word for Chinese person!

So my coping strategy and response to the constant “WiaGuoRenning” is saying “Zhong Guo Ren” back at them. This tends to shut them up and point out that I understand what they are saying. 666 ( 666 meaning very good in China, not the devil)

Wuhan is not overpopulated with Wai Guo Ren’s and I can understand that some people may get a shock to see a non Chinese person in their hood, but come on. I don’t shout “N**ger” every time I pass a black person in the UK. I come from a diverse society where diversity is celebrated ( well in some communities).

Sometimes the conversation starts with Wia Guo Ren, ends with Jon Guo Ren and that’s it. Not even a BaiBai, but again, that’s another story. So come on, China. Embrace differences and stop discriminating. I am human, are you?