Dragon Boys on CBC

So, I am looking forward to Dragon Boys, a mini-series on Vancouver's Asian gang scene that is airing on the Ceeb January 7 and 8. For sure, it still plays the same way The Godfather plays for Italian-Americans, but as one of the cast members defends it: still makes for a good story. The part where one of the Canadian-Chinese characters (the RCMP officer, I think) corrects the white woman that a samurai is a Japanese concept is sweet. Will have it marked on my calendar, nonetheless.

I also found it amusing that the premiere screening was organized by SFU's "Canadianized Asian Club", which sounds very much like a tongue-in-cheek name to give one's ethnic club, unless they take it seriously, and where I think that it pushes the categorization of visible minorities very far. The context (Vancouver) surely applies for such compartmentalization, but even at McGill, there were at least three main "Asian" clubs from the time when I was a student (99-04), namely the Chinese one (MCSS), the Taiwanese one (MTSA), and the North American born one (MANABA), as well as a few recent ones that weren't there when I was a student, like the Mainland Chinese one (CSSA - led by a former CTF member, and whose "about us" is the most honest thing I've read in a long time, in that it isn't even trying to be particularly outsider-friendly, as all ethnic societies tend to do at least for show, and probably compliance for student funding), or the Hong Kong one (HKSN - that was totally founded this year), and the presumably defunct ones, like the Chinese Christian one.

Well, my own experience with ethnic societies started with putting a sign-up sheet on a public billboard for an Asian students' society at my old cegep, and ended with someone printing "no to ghettoization" over it. Eventually, it became interesting to know why it was deemed unacceptable there (not only b/c of the message, but b/c noone signed up, except for one or two of my best buddies, for encouragement), and why it is tolerated in other places, by sheer pressure of numbers or by putting sufficient warnings that "we are teh inclusive".

But frankly, I didn't think that other people at that time understood, and in retrospect, I might've failed for lack of good publicity. It was also a French-speaking cegep (Brebeuf), with very little visible minorities, compared to English-speaking ones. There were no other ethnic clubs in my two years there, as far as I know, and no need for any either, as racially-similar people already hung out together (not my year, b/c I never "found" them, but my brother had a fairly large gang of mainly Asian people) or that we found that you had much more in common with other people outside of racial considerations. OTOH, it could be a lack of determination, as I had other extracurricular business to take care of, and more meant to be an experiment with the student society's funding system (which I did not manage to do).

Of course, I don't have an answer to why and if people of the same racial/ethnic kind should exclusively stick with their own, or marry their own (as it is ultimately your legacy, unless your artistic, political, etc, life is significant). If my take on multiculturalism is correct, then I think it means that Canada is a patchwork of ethnicities, and at the risk of seeing its societal fabric disintegrate. However, it might also be that tolerance of differences that pushes people to invest themselves in this country for a better life, rather than stay in their own. At the condition of not having your cultural/racial particularities swallowed down by the grand melting pot?


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This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on December 27, 2006 11:52 PM.

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