June 2012 Archives

By: Shengxixi Hu
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What makes China the most mysterious country? Is it the Paramount Leader Hu and the Premier Wen?  The notion of "mysterious Asian" comes from the manner in which China has been portrayed through an accumulated five thousand years of recorded civilization. This has resulted in a twisted and devious fashion of thinking of the Chinese people, which is confusing and shocking and gradually habitual to the westerners. "S/he is Chinese" is almost an omnipotent answer to solve all problems: the Chinese drink hot water; the Chinese step on couch with their shoes off; the Chinese don't call people by name; the Chinese have a narrow mind towards sex; the Chinese are less self-centered, self-centered being in a way of daring to speak out, a trait the Chinese parents will not appreciate.

When my father sent me to Montreal to study, I found myself a "mysterious" Asian to others and to my family. I objected to my parent's expectations of entering banking and turned my interest in an unusual direction, film. 
By: Leena FalcigliaScreen shot 2021-06-07 at 11.38.40 AM.pngHave you ever walked into a Montreal souvenir shop? It is a sea of red and brown, no not brown as in the 'new black', I mean brown as in 'Jack the Bear' brown. And if the maple leaf is not on everything, it isn't on anything; from the flag to the pin of the flag, to the moose, to the goose wearing the red Mounties uniform, to the beaver wearing the uniform. The only item not to have a maple leaf is the life-size statue of the Indian chief at the entrance or exit of the shop depending on if you are coming or going. Snowshoes line the walls, making this our official foot apparel. How else would we get around our city streets?

I am constantly reminded every time I go to the airport in Montreal, or am at a souvenir shop downtown, how 'Canadian' we really are. I have nieces from California who believe we live in a remote part of the world where the deer and the antelope play, in our streets! We do have snow and very cold winters, but that is only one of our four seasons.  We also have rain, and wear rain boots, should we start selling those as souvenirs as well? The baggage claim at the Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport is filled with snowshoes, I mean, really what do they think they're going to do with them once they get home?