Monday, March 23, 2009


Inspired by Ask a Korean's site and my own Ask Kushibo post, I have decided to launch a new service: Ask a/an Taiwanese, Chinese, Mongolian, Japanese, Okinawan, Hong Konger, Singaporean, Tibetan, Uighur, Tanzanian, Kenyan, Pakistani, Palestinian, Indian, Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Iranian, East Timorese, Native Hawaiian, Nepali, Russian, Burmese, Thai, French dude, Croatian, or Filipino/a.

I live in a very international dormitory where no one nationality makes up more than 5% of the local population, and that makes for some interesting discussions. I've had a Palestinian explain to me his despair that the Arab world is just using the plight of Palestinians for their own political gain and they don't care about a solution. I've had a Tanzanian student say that the Madagascans are foolish to boot out the Koreans, especially if the Chinese end up moving into the area because they are like neo-colonists who don't care at all about the welfare of the Africans (but the Koreans he knows there actually do). I've had Inner Mongolians (from the part of Mongolia under Chinese control) and Uighurs tell me how brutal China is to their people, how the media covers it up, and how they don't consider themselves particularly Chinese.

Sure, none of these things are new, but they take on a completely different dimension when you're hearing them from someone who's from that place rather than from Time, The Economist, BBC, or the Washington Post.

So ask away. I'll try to accommodate. Some people are happy to get their side of the story heard.

[Readers note: And with this post, my 245th of 2009, I have broken my record for most posts in a calendar year.]

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