Best places for Black people to learn Chinese/最好的地方学习普通话

Just because you are open minded and culturally open, doesn’t mean that the world may be culturally open minded about you.




  1. Singapore

Average salary is $53,000

Singapore is wonderful generally tolerant society, however it is very small.

2. Hong Kong

3. Yiwu

4. Wuhan


Mandarin accents

Beijing accent- strong er sound


Southern Chinese – sh sounds like s

Add “a”

cha sounds like ca

Shen sounds like sen


Best movies to learn Chinese


Delhi Africa summit China vs India



India Africa Forum

Trade Between India and Africa is almost $ 100 billion

The development of modern-day relations has gone through two main periods. During the period of colonialism and liberation wars, political relations became stronger. At the wake of the Cold War, many African countries joined the non-aligned movement pioneered by Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia and Yugoslavia.

During the years of decolonisation, India exerted considerable political and ideological influence in Africa as a role model and a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. But India’s ability to develop a broader strategic role in Africa during the 20th century was subject to several constraints. India’s influence was limited by financial weakness and inward-looking economic policies. Its commitment to decolonisation through nonviolent means made it relatively reluctant to provide military assistance to national liberation movements. India’s role in East Africa was also constrained by the large Indian ethnic population that was often resented by black African nationalists. [13]

The India-Africa Forum Summit, which was held from April 4 to April 8, 2008 in New Delhi, India for the first time, constitutes the basic framework for the relations under the South-South Cooperation platform.

There are numerous of Indians and Africans of Indian descent living in Africa, mainly in the eastern and southern coast in places such as Mauritius, Kenya andSouth Africa.


Indian firms are conducting numerous takeovers abroad and are venturing into Africa. In June 2008, Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecommunications giant, purchasedZain Africa for US$9 billion.[14] Trade between India & Africa has grown exponentially during the past decade. Indo-African trade volume reached US$ 53.3 billion in 2010-11 & US$ 62 billion in 2011-12. It is expected that it would further go up to US$ 90 billion by 2015. As of 2011, India has emerged as Africa’s fourth largest trade partner behind China, EU & USA whilst Africa has emerged as India’s sixth largest trading partner behind EU, China, UAE, USA & ASEAN. It is to be noted that this volume was at a meager US$ 3 billion in 2001. In November 2012 FICCI President led a business delegation to Ethiopia to meet the new Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and reaffirm India’s commitment to the growth and development of Africa. Indian companies have already invested more than US$ 34 billion in the resource-rich continent as of 2011 & further investments worth US$ 59.7 billion are in the pipeline. Among the proposals that CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) received from the African nations are 126 agricultural projects worth an investment of $4.74 billion, 177 infrastructure projects worth $34.19 billion, and 34 energy sector plans costing $20.74 billion (337 projects totalling US$ 59.7 billion). Ex-Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh while expressing his country’s support to Africa, said in an Indo-African trade summit that “Africa possesses all the prerequisites to become a major growth pole of the world in the 21st century. We will work with Africa to enable it to realise this potential”. The Indian government has promised to extend loans worth US$ 5.4 billion (during 2011-14) to several African nations in order to nurture growth in those nations.


New Delhi invited leaders from all 54 African nations to the biggest-ever India-Africa summit.

The heartbeat of 1.25 billion Indians and 1.25 billion Africans are in rhythm, Narendra Modi said at a lavish session, which included dancers and drummers on Thursday (Oct. 29). The Indian prime minister and his African counterparts discussed trade, investments, our common goals and history with Africa.

But one topic was conspicuously missing from the entire jamboree—India’s deeply ingrained racism towards Africans.


There are an estimated 30,000 African students currently studying in India. In total there are 50,000 Africans in India altogether while there are 4 million Indians living in Africa.

In Khirkee alone—where I have worked for the past decade—I have met people from the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Somalia and Uganda. But despite their large numbers, India has not been a hospitable country for them.

Cases of violence against people from African countries have been reported from other cosmopolitan places like Bengaluru, Goa, and even Ludhiana. But it is not just regular people who discriminate against dark-skinned expats—government support is missing, and even the police is equally insensitive







Three things that India wants from Africa

  1. Natural resources such as Oil
  2. A Large market to sell its products to.
  3. Votes from Africa to be put on the UN Security Council



Ways India benefits from Africans

  1. Open non racially discriminatory market to sell to Africans worldwide
  2. Indian Universities make $20,000 of each African students
  3. Access to resources. Nigeria is India’s largest oil supplier


Meanwhile Indians in Africa have one of the best lifestyles they have anywhere in the Diaspora.

There are more Indian billionaires in Africa than any other continent outside Asia all at the African’s expense

  1. The Gupta Family billionaire but wealth unknown
  2. Sudhir Ruparelia  1.5 billion
  3. Mohammed Dewji 1.3 billion
  4. Bhimji Depar Shah $1 billion
  5. Manu Chandaria
  6. Narendra Raval
  7. Nashad Merali


It is said that when Atul Gupta arrived in Africa and he set up the family business Sahara Computers, which distributes hardware, he was amazed at the lack of red tape compared to India.They were small businessmen back home but their parent company Sahara Group – which has no links to the Indian giant of the same name – now has an annual turnover of about 200m rand ($22m; £14.3m) and employs some 10,000 people.

“Africa was about to become the “America of the world” – the world’s land of opportunity.”Shiv Kumar Gupta




Methods of Indian mistreatment and racism against Africans

  1. Skin bleaching and barring of Dark skin people from media
  2. Discrimination, Not allowed in certain establishments
  3. Harassment
  4. Media demonization.
  5. Situation in Goa –
  6. Taxi racism
  7. Gandhi racism

Tanzania Girl Incident


Story outline

Instances of  African cowardice

South Africa

Xenophobia for Africans, Forgiveness  and preferential treatment for Whites, and other NonBlacks

I am told by those who know better that forgiveness is liberating to the persons involved. I don’t question that. I just worry that this expectation of instant forgiveness reproduces racism in the white community and places a denialist salve over the wound in the black community. But does the wound ever really heal because we forgive, because we tell ourselves we have forgiven? I am not so sure. In South Africa the results have been a combination of racist denial on the part of whites and intense anger among young black South Africans.


Mauritania Senegal Conflict


A state of emergency and curfew were introduced in the Dakar region to prevent further violence. Senegalese President Abdou Diouf used the Senegalese army to protect the Mauritanian nationals who were being rounded up and expelled. In all 160,000 Mauritanians, the majority of them in Senegal, were repatriated.

Meanwhile in Mauritania

Lynch mobs and police brutality in Mauritania resulting in the forced exile of about 70,000 southerners to Senegal, despite most of them having no links to the country. About 250,000 people fled their homes as both sides engaged in cross-border raids.[3] Hundreds of people died in both countries

China –

Strange Hypervigilance against homosexuals.

“We are ready to eat grass but we will not compromise on this.”

“and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

“worse than pigs and dogs,”

“Homosexuality is anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization. Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia.”

The corpse of a homosexual man is dug up twice from a Muslim cemetery and dumped at his families doorstep in Senegal


What should be done –

  1. Get a list of all the Media outlets that engage in AntiBlack or behaviour
  2. Ban the entry of African foreign students until their safety is well assured and replace with Online Classes or local classes.
  3. Punish local Indian businesses in Africa for not fixing AntiBlack Racism in their country.


India is not an example for Africa.

    1. India has one of the world’s highest rates of murder in the world, at over 40,000 murders per year (though it is also one of the most populated countries in the world).
    2. India is very corrupt, bureaucratic and full or red tape.
    3. India has one of the world’s highest rates of abortion.Time magazine reports that in 2012, the number of abortions in India could be as high as 7 million, with 2/3 of abortions taking place in unauthorized health facilities. Due to unsanitary conditions, a woman in India dies every two hours. Additionally, there are more men than women in India due to the high rate of abortions performed on female fetuses, a practice known as “gendercide.”e
    4. Many Indians find toilet paper repellent and consider it cleaner to splash water with the left hand in the appropriate direction. Consequently, the left hand is considered unclean and is never used for eating. Only 50% of Indians have access to a toilet.
    5. To avoid polluting the elements (fire, earth, water, air), followers of Zoroastrianism in India don’t bury their dead, but instead leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence” for the vultures to pick clean. After the bones dry, they are swept into a central well.f
    6. Rabies is endemic in India. Additionally, “Delhi Belly” or diarrhea is commonplace due to contaminated drinking water. India’s health care system (the most privatized in the world)
    7. India is a hotbed for rape Most rapes go unreported because the rape victims fear retaliation and humiliation – in India and elsewhere in the world.[35] Indian parliamentarians have stated that the rape problem in India is being underestimated because large number of cases are not reported, even though more victims are increasingly coming out and reporting rape and sexual assaults.[8]Few states in India have tried to estimate or survey unreported cases sexual assault. The estimates for unreported rapes in India vary widely. Madiha Kark estimates 54% of rape crimes are unreported. A pervading question remains, “Why India?” Rape is certainly not unique to this part of the subcontinent but the scale is of a different kind. Many experts who deal with the realities of sexual violence against women in India conclude that it is a result of women and girls being marginalized. This is particularly true in poorer homes where girls receive smaller and less nutritious food portions, for example, in favor of their male siblings and are forced to leave school early so they can continue domestic work at home. India is the 4th most dangerous country for women.
    8. India has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, where one in three girls become child brides. Many girls are married off at an early age, become servants or even prostitutes just to survive
    9. Constant lying and cheatingIt’s normal for Indian people to cheat tourists about prices of guesthouses, food, clothes or anything else. Sometimes the whole shopping experience turns into a battle. There are so many lies they tell to each other and tourists that sometimes you feel you’re living in a fairy tale and you start distrusting everyone. Not a healthy state of mind to be in
    10. Polluted and Crowded.
    11. India Caste system – Brahmin- priests, teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations.[1][2][3]Brahmins traditionally were responsible for religious rituals in temples, as intermediaries between temple deities and devotees, as well as rite of passage rituals such as solemnising a wedding with hymns and prayers.[3][4] However, Indian texts suggest that Brahmins were also agriculturalists and warriors in ancient and medieval IndiaGandhi, Patel”Land owner”, Singh-Lion, Mehta – teacher, Bose – evolved as a caste from a category of officials or scribes, Pandita, KhanKshatrias- Traditionally, the kshatriya constituted the ruling and military elite. Their role was to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.Vaishya- Hindu religious texts assigned Vaishyas to traditional roles in agriculture and cattle-rearing but over time they came to be landowners, traders and money-lenders.[1] The Vaishyas, along with members of the Brahmin and Kshatriya varnas, claim dvija status (“twice born”, a second or spiritual birth) after sacrament of initiation as in Hindu theology.[2] Indian traders were widely credited for the spread of Indian culture to regions as far as southeast Asia.[3]Historically, Vaishyas have been involved in roles other than their traditional pastoralism, trade and commerce. According to Ram Sharan Sharma, a historian, the Gupta Empire was a Vaishya dynasty that “may have appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers”.[4]

      ‘Gupta – protector’ or ‘governor’, Modi,

      Shudra-According to this ancient text, the Shudra perform functions of serving the other three varna

      Dalit-In the Hindu caste system, Dalit status is associated with occupations regarded as ritually impure, such as leatherwork or butchering, or removal of rubbish, animal carcasses and human waste. Dalits work as manual labourers cleaning streets, latrines and sewers.[36] These activities were considered to be polluting to the individual and this pollution was considered contagious. Names – Gajbiye

      Dalits were commonly banned from full participation in Indian social life. They were physically segregated from the surrounding community. For example, they could not enter a temple or a school and were required to stay outside villages. Other castes took elaborate precautions to prevent incidental contact with Dalits

    12. Employees in India change jobs very often.At the entry/mid-management level, a 2-year career with the same company is considered long. Employees are constantly on the lookout for another job and are sometimes actively poached by competitors. I’m told this is because there are substantially fewer “qualified” people than there are jobs. And with more and more MNCs growing their operations in India, this problem is expected to get worse.Work hours in India are long and employees frequently work nights and weekends unproductively. There is no respect for personal time and few employees feel secure enough to push back. As a result, they work their asses off for a couple of years, get burnt out, and move on. Monetary compensation is the only incentive offered to attract and retain good people. Compared to the U.S., employers spend little time or money in building a relationship with their employees. Office socials and events are rare and there is no sense of belonging to a community. Additionally, the Indian culture and company cultures are hierarchical – socializing and networking tends to happen within your peer-level only. As a result, it feels harder to find mentors who take you under their wing, look out for you, and give you straight-up, honest advice that helps you grow.
    13. India is not that smart. For example, when India last participated in the global PISA test, a standardized test of math, science and literacy designed to compare school systems across the world, it came in second to last among more than 70 participating countries.Students graduating from the top 1 percent of institutions (nearly 200,000 students) tend to leave India in search of economic opportunity, masking the reality of the country’s subpar higher education system.Meanwhile, private nonprofit colleges, often owned by corrupt politicians, take advantage of the excess demand for higher education by eliciting cash bribes for admission, a practice that is so prevalent in India that locals have invented a term for it: “capitation fees. TheWall Street Journal reported in 2011 that 75 percent of India’s tech grads aren’t qualified for jobs in the very high-tech global industries India has become famous for. So few of the high school and college graduates who come through the door can communicate effectively in English, and so many lack a grasp of educational basics such as reading comprehension, that the company can hire just three out of every 100 applicants. Yet 24/7 Customer’s experience tells a very different story. Its increasing difficulty finding competent employees in India has forced the company to expand its search to the Philippines and Nicaragua. Most of its 8,000 employees are now based outside of India.Business executives say schools are hampered by overbearing bureaucracy and a focus on rote learning rather than critical thinking and comprehension. Government keeps tuition low, which makes schools accessible to more students, but also keeps teacher salaries and budgets low. What’s more, say educators and business leaders, the curriculum in most places is outdated and disconnected from the real world. Paying to pass classes in India is very common as well.
    14. India is not that rich. There are twice as many millionaires in New York City than there are in all of India. New York has has 400,000 millionaires while India has 186,000. There are 170,000 millionaires in Africa. The average income in India is only $1,500


Indians need Africa more than Africa needs India.

India versus Africa

Population   India   1,3    Africa 1.2

Economy      India 2.5 trillion     Africa 3.3 trillion

Pverty rate

Largest city Mumbai 20.7 million       Lagos 22 milion

Area 1.2 million square miles           11.3 million square miles

Tallest Building   Palais Royale, Mumbai    1,050       Hass Jabavu Tower, Nairobi 1,050 feet 

Largest shopping malls   Lulu Square Mall, Kochi 1.7 million square feet   Mall of Africa 1.4 million square feet

Public transportation Systems   Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kochi Metro (7)

Johannesburg, Cape Town, Addis Ababa Metro

Car companies – Tata, Maruti, Hindustan                       Kantanka, Innosun, Kiira





Countries that Indians and Blacks share

  1. Trinidad and Tobago
  2. Guyana
  3. Suriname
  4. Mauritius
  5. Reunion


Countries Indians have had to share with others

  1. Fiji
  2. Malaysia


Best Chinese Construction Projects in Africa & Portraits of China Africa

The Ming Dynasty voyages of Chineseadmiral Zheng He and his fleet, which rounded the coast of Somalia and followed the coast down to the Mozambique Channel. The goal of those expeditions was to spreadChinese culture and signal Chinese strength. Zheng brought gifts and granted titles from the Ming emperor to the local rulers, with the aim of establishing a large number oftributary states.[3] In October 1415, Chinese explorer and admiral Zheng He reached the eastern coast of Africa and sent the first of two giraffes as gifts to the Chinese YongleEmperor.[14]

There are some other accounts that mention Chinese ships sinking near Lamu Island inKenya in 1415. Survivors are said to have settled in the island and married local women.[15][16]

Archaeologists have found Chinese porcelains made during the Tang dynasty(618-907) in Kenyan villages; however, these were believed to have been brought over byZheng He during his 15th century ocean voyages.[17] On Lamu Island off the Kenyan coast, local oral tradition maintains that 20 shipwrecked Chinese sailors, possibly part of Zheng’s fleet, washed up on shore there hundreds of years ago. Given permission to settle by local tribes after having killed a dangerous python, they converted to Islamand married local women. Now, they are believed to have just six descendants left there; in 2002, DNA tests conducted on one of the women confirmed that she was of Chinese descent. Her daughter, Mwamaka Sharifu, later received a PRC government scholarship to study traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China.[18][19][20]

National Geographic also published an article by Frank Viviano in July 2005, he visited Pate Island during the time he stayed on Lamu, ceramic fragments had been found around Lamu which the administrative officer of the local Swahili history museum claimed were of Chinese origin, specifically from Zheng He‘s voyage to east Africa. The eyes of the Pate people resembled Chinese and Famao and Wei were some of the names among them which were speculated to be of Chinese origin. Their ancestors were said to be from indigenous women who intermarried with Chinese Ming sailors when they were shipwrecked. Two places on Pate were called “Old Shanga”, and “New Shanga”, which the Chinese sailors had named. A local guide who claimed descent from the Chinese showed Frank a graveyard made out of coral on the island, indicating that they were the graves of the Chinese sailors, which the author described as “virtually identical”, to Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with “half-moon domes” and “terraced entries”.[21]

According to Melanie Yap and Daniel Leong Man in their book “Colour, Confusions and Concessions: the History of Chinese in South Africa”, Chu Ssu-pen, a Chinese mapmaker, in 1320 had southern Africa drawn on one of his maps. Ceramics found in Zimbabwe and South Africa dated back to Song dynastyChina. Some tribes to Cape Town’s north claimed descent from Chinese sailors during the 13th century, their physical appearance is similar to Chinese with paler skin and a Mandarin sounding tonal language. Their name for themselves is “abandoned people”, Awatwa in their language.[22]

China has helped Africa develop hundreds of programmes including the establishment of textile factories, hydroelectric power stations, gymnasiums, hospitals and schools. Among the most well known is the Tazara railway between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, which was completed in July 1976 after six years of labour by more than 50,000 Chinese workers, at a total cost of about 1bn yuan (£95m). What Africa has seen in the Chinese workers is a spirit of diligence and sacrifice.

 Self interested investments, mostly for natural resources like minerals and oil, have brought huge infrastructure improvements to many African countries, building roads and railways; expanding financial services; and providing important revenues to struggling governments.

A comprehensive Chinese-assisted treatment campaign has apparently eliminated malaria from the Comorian island of Moheli(population 36,000) — and shows worldwide potential

The Chinese are paving roads, building new schools, new mosques, new government buildings, a new airport, a center to facilitate tourism to the country and even new homes — for politicians.

China is the second most popular destination for African international students after France

  1. Modderfontein South Africa. $7 billion


new city





2. Lamu Port $24 billion

Wide angle of construction activities on Port


3.  China has completed a 750 km electric rail way connecting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to the Red Sea state Djibouti. The cost of the railway is $3.6 billion


3. Kilamba, Angola  $3.5 billion



4. Brazzaville airport

brazza airport


5. Pan African Games stadium complex $500 million




6. Addis Ababa Metro   $475 million


7. Africa Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa  $200 billion


8. Nairobi Train Station



9. State Commercial Standard Bank Ethiopia



10. Ethiopia to Sudan highway –


11. Abidjan Stadium  60,000 Capacity stadium for Ivory Coast


12. Mbini Bridge Equatorial Guinea (Worlds 25th longest suspension bridge)


13. Two Rivers  Shopping Mall, Nairobi, Kenya

$587 million dollars


14. Thika highway Continue reading

20 facts about China you may be shocked to know

China is rather exotic and sometimes it’s almost impossible to understand Chinese people. Maybe these 20 facts will help you understand the country better.

1. Rich people in China can hire body doubles to serve their prison sentence.

It’s a common practice in China. There is even such a saying “America has the rule of law, China has the rule of people”.


2. China has recently overtook the US as the world’s largest economy.

However it is only related to the purchasing power of the country.


3. 29% of San Francisco’s air pollution comes from China.

The country has serious smog and air pollution problems and shares them with the world.


4. China has more English speakers than the United States.

It’s rather disturbing and helps to realize what an enormous amount of people live in China!


5. A soup quite popular in China is made entirely out of eatable birds nests.

The delicacy is rather popular throughout Asia. Would you dare try it?

6. In China there is a website that lets you rent a girlfriend for as low as $31 for a week!

Already moving to China? Don’t hurry up that much, because…

7. … If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Population growth is one of the scariest stuff about China.

8. Recently, there was a man in China who burned a hole through his stomach because he enjoyed a too hot and spicy soup.

Doctors were amazed to find a hole in his stomach wall. That guy was totally in love with notoriously spicy mala soup.

9. China is building MASSIVE cities just to keep builders busy and generate growth. The result are ghost metropolis.

Is the crash eventually inevitable?


10. A teenager in China once sold his kidney to buy an iPad.

What would happen with the boy if his new precious toy gets stolen soon after its purchase?


11. A man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing and eating the last Indochinese tiger in China.

He claimed that he could not specify the animal and killed it for self-defence.


12. Let this one be more pleasant. The beauty of Yangshuo, China, as seen from a hot air balloon.

This place is called to be one of the most beautiful on Earth.


13. China is said to suffer from the worst brain drain in the world: 7 out of 10 students who enroll overseas never move back to live in China.

The top country where they prefer to reside is the US.


14. Brad Pitt can never visit China, because of him acting the movie “Seven Years in Tibet.”

As well as actor David Thewlis and director of the movie Jean-Jacques Annaud.


15. The longest traffic jam in China was 10 days and 60 miles long.

Drivers moving from Beijing to Mongolia stuck for almost 11 days in August 2010.


16. By 2025, China will have 10 New York-sized cities.

Meanwhile the Chinese population will grow for additional 350 million people.


17. China owns all the giant pandas in the world, any panda outside of China is being leased.

Even those cubs being just born instantly belong to China.


18. In China, a man sued his wife for being ugly and won.

That woman had had a plastic surgery for $100,000 before she met her husband who later could not understand why their children appeared to be so ugly.  On the picture above is the whole family.


19. In China, it is acceptable to walk into an IKEA store to relax and take a nap.

No other people of the world deserve rest as much as the Chinese ones!


20. Because China is one of the suicide capitals of the world, they employ body fishers – People who are hired to drag dead bodies out of rivers.

Probably a sufficient percent of those self-murderers are body fishers themselves…


Travelling While Black 8 things white people will never know about travel

Ernest “Fly Brother” White II points out things a lot of travelers might never imagine as being part of their regular “travel experience.”

AS A BLACK AMERICAN MALE living for the past seven years in Latin America, I’ve had more than my share of the craziness that comes with Traveling While Black. And I know other travelers of color – be they Asian, Latino, or Martian – can feel me on the foolishness.

1. The hassle of being considered a potential terrorist, drug smuggler, and/or illegal immigrant by US customs and immigration officers.

You know how you get off a long flight, exhausted but glad to be home. And as soon as you get to the immigration booth, the officer starts giving you the third degree about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. Then the customs officer – and, depending on your point-of-entry, often someone just as brown as you are, with the hint of a foreign accent – starts asking you the same questions you were asked at immigration, then selects you for a “random” secondary screening. Three random secondary screenings in a row tend to make you question the randomness of the screenings.

2. The annoyance of “positive” stereotypes.

“You blacks have dance in the blood.” “If I could be anything else, I would be a black American because you guys can really screw.” “I just love blacks.”

Objectification and hyper-sexualization? We can do math, too!

3. The shock of seeing grotesque caricatures that have been banned in the United States for decades.

Blackface tar babies, mammies, pickaninnies, sambos, spear-chuckers – all can be seen as characters in folkloric festivals and for sale as dolls and trinkets at souvenir shops in Latin America. Of course, I’m imposing my own North American overly-PC cultural values on someone else’s culture when I grimace in disgust at this plantation-era coonery and get told to lighten up. No wonder the USA is the only major post-colonial society to have a black president. Or media mogul. Or Secretary of State. Or…

4. The indignation at being mistaken for a security guard, maid, drug dealer, or prostitute.

I’ve been sent back around to service elevators, been approached about how much a gram of cocaine costs, been approached about how much I would charge for the whole night, been asked if I would let some guys friends into VIP. I’ve had female friends who’ve been asked if the dogs they were walking were their employer’s, how much they would charge for the whole night, and blocked at their hotel lobby by overzealous security guards (who were just as brown-skinned – see #5).

5. The frustration of being ignored/hassled until it’s realized that you’re foreign, too.

I’ve been out at restaurants and nightclubs with white friends who were the exclusive center of attention, until the groupies finally noticed, “oh…you’re not Brazilian/Colombian/from here?” I don’t begrudge my white pals their fifteen minutes – it’s nice to bathe in the adulation garnered by being “exotic,” and my friends tend to be cool peeps – but you only see me when you hear English come out of my mouth? Boo.

And I hate to use my language as a weapon, but sometimes, I gotta let homies know to stand down, especially nightclub bouncers and the security staff at nice hotels.

6. The exasperation of having your background, nationality, and/or ‘Western-ness’ questioned.

Abroad, people seem to think that you can’t be a “real American” if you aren’t white: “But you don’t ‘look’ American. Really, where is your family from?” They won’t take what you say you are at face value (granted, for their own socio-historical reasons): “But you’re not black, you’re, like, caramel.”

On the other side, many people in North America and Europe seem to have a hard time grasping the concept that “Western” and “white” are not synonymous, and that Latin America is, in fact, Western. Yes, a great many Westerners are white, and the identifying characteristics of a Western country – i.e. Judeo-Christian spiritual leanings and an espousal of Greco-Roman political ideals – stem mainly from Europe. But why is Brazil not considered Western when it’s the world’s largest Catholic country? Is Peru not a democracy? And are people of color from the US any less Western because they aren’t white (hello, Asia)?

7. The rancor of having your qualifications and abilities ignored in light of your application photo.

“His CV is very good, but I’m not so sure about his picture.” This was told to a friend and colleague of mine – a white American guy – by the director at the Colombo-Americano bicultural center in Bogotá regarding my application for a teaching position. Apparently, mine didn’t represent the face of English.

Neither does this guy’s.

8. The sting of hearing, being called, or reading “nigger” in an academic paper.

Hip-hop and Hollywood movies are extremely popular outside of the USA. As such, the n-word has found its way into people’s lexicons, regardless of how little English they speak. In the Dominican Republic, some friends and I were greeted with “Hey, niggers” by a friendly, rap-loving teenager who had recognized us as American and thought that was an appropriate greeting.

In Colombia, as a university English professor, I encountered the word several times in academic papers written by students who didn’t have the historical context to know better. I read it in an official tourist guide, describing Afro-Colombian traditions and dance. I was asked by a woman there once, while responding to an oft-repeated query of my origins (see #6), why I “wanted to be a black nigger.” She knew better. And no, overseas, there really wasn’t a distinction between “nigger” and “nigga,” since the former is often pronounced like the latter depending on the local language, and the latter is rarely – if ever – written, unlike the former. But then this dropped.

*For non-black defenders of the term’s use, let me point out that not all black people are responsible for the word’s usage in music and film, so boo to the whole “well you guys use it” argument. To paraphrase John Ridley: when you get to go through slavery and Jim Crow, you get to use the word.

All that being said, I’ll never stop traveling

China Became Africa’s Largest Export Destination In 2012

Already Africa’s single biggest trading partner, China is set to become the continent’s largest export destination in 2012 according to South African based Standard Bank.

The milestone would mark a significant turnaround since 2008, the bank says, when exports to China stood at half of those to the US.

In a research note, Standard Bank’s Beijing based economist Jeremy Stevens writes that “despite becoming marginally more expensive, China has managed to grow exports to Africa rapidly.”

The estimate is the latest sign of deepening ties between the two regions, and Mr Stevens goes on to say that “Chinese and African businesses are now more comfortable transacting with one another. Looking forward, China is well-positioned to participate in Africa’s next phase of development.”

China has been at the forefront of reshaping the continents external relations in recent years, and Mr Stevens notes that its “foresighted engagement with Africa back at the start of the past decade was a master stroke, allowing Beijing to steal a march on Africa’s other partnerships.”

Bilateral trade volumes now exceed $160bn per year, or almost a fifth of the continent’s overall trade – a 28 percent increase from 2011. Imports from China stood at $73bn in 2011, up more than 23 percent on 2010, while Africa’s importance to overall Chinese trade is also increasing. The region now accounts for 3.8 percent of exports, up from 2 percent in 2002. The rapid growth in trade between the two regions is putting pressure on more established partners such as the EU and the US to strengthen their commercial ties with Africa.

Rapidly growing economic activity has gone hand in hand with political engagement. High profile visits by Chinese officials have become common place in Africa since 2000, including President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

China has also begun making its mark as an emerging donor. In January a new $200m African Union headquarters was commissioned in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Funded entirely by China, the opening ceremony was attended by Jia Qinling, the country’s most senior political adviser, who told those in attendance that “the towering complex speaks volumes about our friendship to the African people, and testifies to our strong resolve to support African development.”

The relationship has however not been without controversy, and China regularly finds itself the subject of allegations that it undermines human rights and governance in its dealings with African governments.

China’s focus on securing access to natural resources has also been the source of debate, with critics arguing that its interests do not represent a long term strategy and differ little from exploitative relationships that have done little to support development on the continent in the past. Fuels, ores and metals account for almost 90 percent of all Chinese imports from Africa.

In some resource exporting countries, notably Zambia, China’s role has become a contentious issue in recent years. Having invested heavily in Zambia’s copper industry relations have been strained amid allegations of mistreatment of Zambian workers by Chinese foremen; tension that has resulted in several deaths in recent years.

Despite such cases, China’s role in Africa is likely to deepen significantly in the coming years. It is estimated that more than one million Chinese citizens now live on the continent, and a change of leadership in China later this year is not expected to result in a change of policy.

Standard Bank’s Mr Stevens argues that “China’s commodity demand is structural and will be longstanding. In addition, Africa’s demand for infrastructure and China’s differential approach to financing creates markets for Chinese exports; commercial opportunities for its [state owned enterprises] and employment opportunities for Chinese people.

China Training African Workforce to Partner with Chinese Businesses

With China continuing its wave of investments in Africa, Chinese companies are working to train more high-level professionals in the region, as a lack of qualified talent has become a roadblock for the budding business relationship between China and Africa.

A report by People’s Daily in China revealed that 31 students from Angola had completed bachelor’s degree programs in July from Changsha University of Science and Technology in Hunan. Those same students will integrate into current plans to improve Angola’s infrastructure alongside Chinese corporations.

China Road & Bridge Corp. sponsored each of the students’ tuition and living expenses during their five-year study, as well as 112 others from Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

Xiao Jinquan, a senior partner at Dacheng Law Offices, says that the firm is in talks with several universities and companies to sponsor new training programs for African professionals.

“After finishing the training program, students will have the language ability, business and legal knowledge and experience to deal with Chinese companies,” Xiao said during the Second China-Africa People’s Forum earlier this month. “They will become the backbone of Chinese-African business.”

“During our work there, we deeply felt the urgent need for high-level business talent in Africa, which has been an obstacle for Chinese companies to invest in Africa,” Xiao added.

Only recent graduates or seniors from African universities will be accepted as applicants for Dacheng’s program, which will last between 12 and 18 months. The $15,700 in fees for each student will be covered by the firm.

In June, Chinese investments in Africa reached the $45 billion mark, making the need for capable African professionals a pressing concern for China. Of the 2,000 companies operating with Africa, 85 percent of their work force is comprised of local employees. Last year trade between China and Africa came to $166.3 billion.

Is Teaching English in China Worthwhile?

With the current state of the world economy as it is, more and more people unable to find jobs at home, and wanting to experience life abroad, are looking to countries like China for work. In terms of entry modes, teaching English in China is a viable option, often requiring little more than the ability to speak English. On the downside, an industry with low entry barriers attracts its fair share of competitors and also makes teachers more vulnerable to exploitation. Adding to these “dangers” faced by English teachers is the recent move to downgrade the importance of English scores in the Gaokao exam. Is English teaching still worthwhile in China?

English teacher, defined

Not all English teaching jobs are created equal and remuneration and working conditions vary wildly. Language centers, pre-school education, public schools or universities employ the majority of foreigners and previously the ability to speak fluent English was considered adequate qualification. The bar has been raised in recent times however and now there are age limits, academic requirements (a bachelor degree), work experience requirements (at least 2 years), teaching qualifications (TESOL or TEFL certificate) and country-of-origin requirements (from a country of native speakers). Schools with adequate levels of guanxi (connections) have been known to circumvent these though. However, competition for inexperienced teachers ensures salaries in this category remain low, though teachers in language centers can earn more depending on the number or hours worked. On the other end of the spectrum, career English teachers enjoy full expat terms in international schools or as overseas examination specialists (e.g. GCE “A” Levels or SAT teachers).

Teaching English in China
Source: SurfaceWarriors

Are English teachers in danger of no longer being wanted?

Outside of a classroom, most Chinese rarely if ever use English in their lifetime. Yet there is still a seemingly insatiable demand for English teachers as a controversial ruling by the Education Ministry mandates English majors to undergo instruction by native speakers during their course of study.

All this could change, though, as Beijing has recently made known intentions to reduce the weightage of English scores in the Gaokao. The official reason was to reduce pressure on students, which makes sense considering most students have no use for English after leaving school and never completely master the language. Not only do the new rulings de-emphasize English in the Gaokao, but they also propose reducing the number of hours spent on English (called “foreign language”), including children waiting till the third year of elementary school to begin learning the language.

However, thanks to the growing number of Chinese who are able to send their children to overseas schools to study, this does not mark the beginning of the end for English teachers. In fact, Beijing’s efforts to de-emphasize the importance of English is likely to be met with skepticism or indifference in this group and may conversely cement demand for alternative providers; think private schools and private tutoring. Language schools are quick to cater to candidates for overseas examinations and even public schools have opened international departments. Young adults harboring dreams of working for a Multinational or finding a foreign partner also seek out private language schools. Even in public schools, English may not necessarily decrease in importance, especially if top universities formulate internal English examinations as an additional admission hurdle.

In it for the paycheck or the experience?

On the supply side, teaching English in China for the most part has few entrance barriers. Foreign teachers are mostly employed as practice targets to “provide an English-speaking environment.” This requires little more than an ability to converse in English, though looking “foreign” and possessing charisma goes a long way in an industry governed by student feedback and economics. Oversupply puts a downward pressure on salaries especially in places where inhabitants have to contend with inflation at the same time. The pay may seem decent by local standards, especially if housing and travel benefits are thrown in. And in fact, it is, for those able and willing to live as a local (i.e. without “luxuries” like cheese). For those from a country whose currency is stronger than the RMB, savings would be out of the question.

Of course, not all English teachers are here for the money. China is still as an exotic destination and English teaching as a “working holiday” allows for a more in-depth travel and cultural experience. A country as vast as China offers experiences as varied as the bright lights of big cities or the scenery of the laid-back countryside. So there’s something for everyone, from fresh graduates seeking to spice up their resumes to mid-career switchers after a different experience. So goes the spiel on overseas teaching recruitment websites. Teaching schedules are seldom onerous, with delivery usually taking precedence over lesson prep. Teachers usually have adequate time on their hands for extensive sight-seeing and hard-partying, if they so desire.

However, teaching in China does have its dark side. Working in China, like every other country, requires the right visa and enforcement is getting more stringent, ostensibly because of “security” concerns and “misbehaving” foreigners. In addition, teachers require a Foreign Expert Certificate. All this sounds straightforward enough, but papers have not been granted for anything from not having a degree to poor health. Other concerns pertain to life in China in general – an issue to those concerned about food and environmental safety. “Hardship” allowances are available to a lucky few Expats but rarely to teachers, bar maybe those in international schools.

Making it more worthwhile

All in all, having goals other than money would make teaching in China more worthwhile. Other than that, here are a few tips to increase your chances of a pain-free teaching experience in China.

  • Ensure you have the right visa and a Foreign Expert’s Certificate – sounds like common sense but some foreigners are simply too trusting, too desperate to wait for the right papers, or think they will get away with it. When discussing the contract with the school, make sure they provide you with the visa and cover the costs of it; if they won’t really consider finding a different school!
  • Check if you have to perform “office hours” – that could really affect your pay-per-hour
  • Google your potential employer – this can be very helpful if it is a major language centre
  • Bump up on non-verbal communication – learn to recognize signs of frustration or boredom as some institutions rely heavily on “customer” feedback

If you can think of other tips to making English teaching a smoother process add them in the comment section below.