Lee Siu Hin: Journey to My Home 2009--Building Bi-national China-US Solidarity and Understanding
Part Two: Updates, Purpose of My Trip
(Friday June 26 - Tianjin, China)
I have been in China for the past two weeks, I am currently staying at northern Chinese city of Tianjin for family visit. But first, journal of my trips for the past two weeks…
I arrived Hong Kong at June 10th, then went to southern Chinese costal city of Zhuhai over the weekend of June 13-15, meeting with my webpage design team between , and en route to Shenzhen on Monday (June 15th) and leaving to Dalian by plane on Wednesday June 17th attend one of the biggest IT convention at China.
Why I am coming to China?
1) Meting with my webpage design team (for ActionLA.org, ImmigrantSolidarity.org, PeaceNOWar.net and ActivistVideo.org) for the upgrade, and new project for developing e-Activism.org for on-line activist organizing.
2) Building bi-national China-U.S. solidarity projects for activist exchange, platform for mutual & respectful dialogue and hosting a possible future U.S. activist delegations to China.
3) Visiting my family—my parents are currently living at northern Chinese city of Tianjin.
It’s true that for historical reason, Chinese people more likely understand U.S. then American understand China. It’s seems like hard to believe but I almost never found a *real* Chinese restaurant in the U.S.—therefore; most American never able to see the “real” China and misunderstand our country. And I feel it’s my destiny and duty as international peace activists to tell everyone what I saw in China, and to build China-U.S. bi-national solidarity.
Before I talk about China, it’s also important to talk about me—who I am? Where my family are came from?
According to my family legend, we were a Ming dynasty’s emperor’s warrior from northern China, moved to southern Chinese region of Guangdong, and settled at Zhungshan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhongshan) for the past 600 years.
At late 19th century, my family once again left the homeland and moved to Kobe, Japan for better economic opportunity around 1880’s for due the impacts from bloody Chinese civil war of Taiping rebellion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Rebellion), we stayed in Japan for the next 60 years, my father and grandfather were born in Japan.
As Chinese migrants in Japan at the early 20th we faced many discriminations and during World War II when Japan start forcing Chinese migrants to the forced labor, my family decided to leave the country and move to Hong Kong (it was occupied by Japan during World War II).
After the WW II, my father was a sailor for while, transporting goods between Hong Kong an Southeast Asia, later open his shipping company until his retirement. For the past 150 years we’re family of migrant which close relations with Ocean.
I was born in Hong Kong and later moved to Yokohama, Japan with my parents at early 1970s for business reason, I first went to Japanese public school (1st grade) then moved to Chinese-run migrant school at 2nd-4th grades, It’s critical for me to understand I am Chinese because the school helped me learn Chinese language, culture and most important at all--the root. While I need to spend almost 4 hours round trips everyday to commute school ALONE (when I was between 8 to 10 years old) and faced discrimination and even ambush/bully by Japanese kids on my way to the school/home every day (because Japanese racism consider hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Korean migrants—the two major minority groups in Japan—never have rights of citizenships—consider to be inferior), I fought with them and I never regret.
We left Japan on mid-70s, moved to Macau (former Portuguese colony) then back to Hong Kong at late 70’s to finish my high school. Then I moved to Canada at mid-80’s and moved to U.S. at late 80’s.
The pronunciation of my name also reflects the historical-political differences—while my name written in the same way (at Chinese characters) The pronunciation at Hong Kong, Japan and China will be different: Hong Kong when it was still British colony, the pronunciation of my name was based on British-design Cantonese standard: Lee Siu Hin. If the pronunciation of my name based on standard Chinese Mandarin, it’ll be: Li Xiao Xuan. When I was living in Japan, the pronunciation of my name will be based on Japanese: Lee Shou Ken. It’s not just a technicality issue on how to pronounce my name—using different way of pronunciation could mean your ethnic identity as well as political background.
My first stop the working trip is Zhuhai, China meeting with my IT team. They had been our critical IT backbone and supporters for all our activism web pages need in the U.S.
On 2005, after our Los Angeles-based volunteer webpage designer need to move on, we desperately need to find another critical volunteer-based webpage administrator. While U.S. is the largest IT country with many unemployed web designers looking for jobs, yet I cannot find any U.S.-based Internet “activist” could willing to help us on volunteer or stipend–based (we’re willing to paid some money from out of the pocket when we’re all volunteer-based organization and I was a low-paid sweatshop worker).
I almost give up, but at a very luck—I found one of my friend who was recently (on 2003) moved to a Chinese costal town of Zhuhai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuhai ) working at a U.S.-based IT outsourcing company. Zhuhai is 60 Km west from Hong Kong (former British colony) water distance on the other side of Pearl River delta, or just across the border north from Macau (former Portuguese colony).
At that moment, I didn’t know too much about Chinese IT industry—because I left Hong Kong at mid-80’s, my first and the entire computer/Internet experience was at U.S.—I never learn how to type Chinese nor visit Chinese website. My memory of Zhuhai at 1970s was a very small farming town border with Macau without any “city” feeling nor significant industry—not eve mention phone service! So when my friend suggest to ask his IT friends at Zhuhai to help me, I was kind of skeptical if that’s going to work.
Our first working meeting was over skype on-line conference call, I was quickly impressed by their skills, professionalism and passion to support our activism work. For the next 3 years we only communicate thru e-mail/phone/skype conference without ever met—until 2008.
I am highly appreciated their help and the work, they willing to help us (sometimes free, sometimes stipend-based) because they believes my activism work and want to show the false notion of Western domination of Internet as well as White savoir-ism. They want to proof Chinese internet activist can influence the World and thump U.S. imperialist’s noise.
I spend 3-days stay at Zhuhai working meetings and stay at one of my teammember’s house and eat with their family (to save my trip’s money).
We envision developing a new cyber activism projects.
(meeting with my IT teammmembers at Zhuhai, China)
(Photo of one of my It teammember's house, I was stay at his house)
More stories of my trip will be coming soon….