January 20, 2005

WHO AM I?

it might not be very interesting, but it is quite annoying to me. see if you have any thoughts on that. there are 3 issues.

A. who am i?
(this one is not really annoying, it is interesting instead)

background information:
i am from hong kong, ethnically chinese. my parents and grandparents from both sides are all chinese.

today, there are three people saying that they thought i was japanese when they first met me in class.

one is from mainland china, and two are from JAPAN.

when two japanese says i look like a japanese, what can i say? they have authority and experience.

and even one of them has a gf and many friends from hong kong, so i suppose he knows how hong kong people are like.

once when i travelled to japan, a guy also tried to talk to me in japanese. of coz he failed. when i went travelling with my friend to continental europe this xmas, ppl kept asking if we were japanese. first i thought it is because my friend has small eyes (it is thought that japanese have small eyes, though not necessary of coz). but itz not quite the case now.

may be i should give up learning french and spanish, then change to japanese instead.

B. what is my nationality?

background information:
1. BNO passsport: issued by UK before HK handover to China in 1997, still valid now
2. SAR passport: issued by HK after handover
3. hk citizens can have these two passports at the same time

in the beginning, i only had the BNO passport. my BNO passport says i am a British National (Overseas), but i can never find this as an option in those application forms, which ask me to fill in nationality.

recently i applied for the SAR passport as well. it says my nationality is chinese. so do i have two nationalities? if the question is ethnicity, it is easier. it would definitely be chinese.

and for some hk citizens, they have british passport, or US passport, you name it, together with the SAR passport, so they should fill in British, American or what?

C. and can you imagine how "funny" it is to have two passports?

background information:
1. BNO holders need schengen visa to go to France, Spain etc., but not belgium, the netherlands, i.e. those countries in schengen dont have unifed policy towards different passport holders
2. SAR holders do not need one

i use BNO passport to enter UK, because with that passport, even i can stay less than 6 months without resident permit, i need one if i stay more than 6 months. and i dun have to pay for the resident permit with BNO, not with SAR passport. then I use BNO passport to deaprt from UK as well.

when i went travelling last december, before getting onto the eurostar, i showed my BNO passport to the guard as i thought i was leaving UK, so it makes sense to show him the BNO.

the guard asked me why i didnt have a schengen visa in the BNO. he thought i was going to France, and i forgot i was actually going to Belgium, so i just showed him my SAR passport. easy.

when i entered UK again from France with BNO passport, the UK immigration asked me why i didnt have a visa, because i needed a visa to enter france, so i showed him the SAR passport.

if the visa system is a way to investigate one person beforehand (because they have got a shared database), as mentioned in my EU class yesterday, it totally doesnt work in my case. they cant investigate me because i can simply use another passport to avoid being investigated.

however the case is that, whatever passport i am using, i am the same person.

very complicated, isnt it?

Priscilla Wong
(forget about the name published below, itz another problem. this system is not quite friendly to students with chinese names because it chops off part of our first name)


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. This is a fascinating blog entry. This exemplifies what I love about blogs. You learn so much. Thank you.

    20 Jan 2005, 09:20

  2. I have two passports, due to my parents both being Australian. I've also wondered how exactly they can track me. Especially if I use one passport to get out of one country, and the other to get me into another country.

    At least my passports come from different countries, so it's a bit less confusing.

    20 Jan 2005, 11:54

  3. Cecilia

    Hmm Priscilla, it is not very strange! Most of us born in HK around a certain time have 1–3-4 passports…cos we live in a more global world than say a mainland chinese or even a japanese!

    At a family wedding in HK once, I sat at a table of different family where we counted we had 5 different nationality between us if we just count the different kind of passport/visa we all have! Big deal! I have 3, its not a big deal! Live with it and enjoy it. Don't you have another foreign passport as well beyond a BNO & SAR?

    As for being called Japanese..I get that all they time! They are not looking at your looks, honey! They are looking at how much money they think you have and then judging according! Because people still live in a world of dum stereotypes! :-)

    When people come up and ask me if I am Japanese, I just go,"No, are you?"

    Hahaha!

    Cecilia

    24 Jun 2005, 16:43

  4. Bart Roos

    Big deal with the nationality misidentification. When I'm in Hong Kong everyone thinks I'm English or American when I'm Danish-Dutch.

    31 Jul 2005, 15:54


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