In China if you meet a foreign student pursuing a programme taught in Chinese and ask them about their studies, the likely response you will get is one that tells you theirs is a sad story worth listening to. You will be told of the frustration and the stress that the students suffer due to their failure to understand lectures, not because of the difficulty of the concepts presented – well they could be – but because the students’ competence in Chinese language is too basic for university studies. Why is this so?
Saturday, 28 January 2012
I am a black African man, with a black skin, studying in China. I have been in this beautiful country since 2009. Well, being black in China causes a mixture of attitudes and feelings among Chinese. You see some staring at you with awe, not believing that what their eyes are seeing is a black person.
You see others, especially girls, with seemingly exaggerated excitement on their faces. Sometimes such girls, most of them pretty, will ask if they could take a photo with you. It is a request I grant most times, after which they giggle away, celebrating the just ended ‘life-time’ opportunity of seeing a black person in flesh. And as I wrote this article in MacDonald’s over a chicken burger and a coke, some three teen-age girls passing by beckoned one another’s attention to look at me, murmured things I couldn’t pick and chuckled away like some kindergarten kids.