It probably goes without saying that if the expat experience in China is a unique one, then the black expat experience here is even more so. While the country (or at least the bigger cities) has at least gotten used to seeing Caucasian foreigners and realizing that, though they’re foreigners, they’re still people (kind of), black foreigners cause double takes.
One person (an African American in his 20s living here in Shanghai) had a refreshing take on not just being black in China, but also having a family here. Interviewed by SHLaowai, he outlined some of the questions he’d get from strangers and friends alike (“Is your penis big?”) as well as his reasons for moving here with his family.
Obviously, one person’s experiences can’t encapsulate an entire race’s, but it’s interesting to hear a voice from our slowly growing black expat community. He concludes by saying:
…living in another country requires great patience and understanding no matter what color you are or where you are from. How receptive you are to other people and their culture and a lot of times their ignorance to your particular situation are key factors. Your attitude can and will determine whether or not you enjoy your life, and that’s true if you never leave the house you grew up in. One of my favorite quotes of all time is “there is nothing good or bad that thinking does not make so.”
Video from SHLaowai