As immigrants newly arrived. Pendatang they call it. No doubt these banal politicians would still be repetitively beating that same dead horse a hundred years from now as well - not realizing in their blind idiocy that some of their own ancestors probably arrived on boats as well.
Despite the vicious racist epithets spat out in their overzealous rancor, I sometimes find myself paradoxically smiling. Intolerant bigots usually advance the hackneyed assertion that the original Chinese immigrants travelled here purely to garner wealth to send home to the mainland while maintaining tenuous ties to their adopted country.
Well, perhaps true for some but certainly not for my grandparents.
Now what was that you were saying about immigrants?
Especially my shockingly vehement grandmother. Once she wilfully shook the dirt of the dusty mainland off her stockinged feet, she vowed never to return. When questioned on her historical inconsistency, she has two answers to give. The more reasonable reply which comes with a quaint zen-like idiom.
Paul : Ever thought of going back to China?
Grandma : 好馬不吃回頭草!!
Paul : A translation for our avid readers please?
Grandma : A good horse never grazes on the same old pasture!
Or the more vitriolic reply which comes complete with lively hand-waving gestures.
Paul : But some of the older generation always wish to go home, don't they?
Grandma : Go back to China? Traitorous old fools. If it was so great, why did they leave in the first place?
Followed by a patriotic speech on loyalty to the country. Seriously, you'd expect the national anthem vigorously playing in the background as soldiers march past in salute.
And you still dub her grandchildren boat immigrants? Don't let this angry granny come after you with her walking cane.