洛緣Lok (22) is born and raised Hong Kong. She came to The Netherlands in 2019 for her exchange. She studies in The Chinese University of Hong Kong Creative media. She describes herself as open minded, free spirited, spiritual and a storyteller. She says: “I am who I am, ethnicity can’t define me.”
What kind of upbringing did you have? There is also a term: “Tiger parents or Tiger mom”. Did you have a similar upbringing?
My mum is not a tiger mother, because I am too rebellious so that she can’t really control me.
Are there any taboos or things that you can’t discuss with your parents?
Sexuality would be a tough topic sometimes, but this year I started to talk about this more with my mother.
Do you feel close with your Asian roots or not?
I don’t associate myself that much with Hong Kong compared to my friends. After I lived in the Netherlands, I discovered that I belong to the world. And my lifelong goal is to travel around the world.
It’s hard to say what my cultural identity is. I guess, it’s really somewhere in between. I think I have my own identity but I’m not really bound to one culture only.
Did you ever feel ashamed of you being Asian?
No, never ashamed. And I am who I am, ethnicity can’t define me.
Did you ever had a role model when you grew up?
My role model is Ellen Loo. She started becoming my role model last year. Because she is brave to disclose herself in front of the public about her mental disorder and sexuality. However, in most of my life, I always believe in myself and don’t necessarily need a role model to follow. I live my own way.
What do you think of the Asian representation in The Netherlands?
I am not sure about how Dutch people look at Hong Kongers. But most of the time, people would see me as Chinese, which I always need to emphasize I am not.
Do you feel like you’re ‘The Asian Model Minority Myth?
No. I am not a typical Asian I guess.
What made you who you are now?
Experiences. Always live every day as a brand new day.
Have people also made comments about you being Chinese?
I never really cared about racism, so I can’t think of it.
Do you know any Hong Kongnese stereotypes and do you identify with that?
I guess people in general think people from Hong Kong are slightly different from Chinese people. They think our English is good and we are open minded which I don’t think is necessarily the case. Personally I think I am more in between, but definitely not a typical Hong Kongese, I’m more open minded and I do things without boundaries. Typical Hong Kongnese are in my opinion: that they like to have people around, do collective things, are materialistic, competitive, a little bit stressed out and busy all the time.
What are stereotype Asians in your opinion?
Quiet, conservative, shy, considerate.
What stereotypes and comments have you heard about your appearance?
I am not sure haha.
What racist remarks and discrimination have you experienced?
I did not really experience racist remarks, just someone who said: “You are from China?”.
What is a funny trait or what is something that not everyone knows about you?
People always see me as a happy and harmless person, but when I was growing up, I did some evil things like a naughty child would do. Right now I am growing to be a better person everyday, and spread happiness and light to the world.
In Asian culture, it is normal as a woman to get married as soon as possible, have children, and become a housewife. Because when you have a husband, you have children, you have “made” it in life. How do you see it?
I don’t see myself entering a marriage in my life. I just want to be a free bird, marriage for me is similar to prison if it is not the right partner who gives me freedom to explore the world. I definitely don’t want to be a typical mother.
Where do you stand now and what are your plans for the future?
After my graduation I will travel for at least two years and see what happens next. My ultimate goal is to be a lifelong traveler and provoker who gives speeches to inspire people. Traveling and listening to stories from different people are fascinating for me.
What do you want to give to the readers? What do you hope to achieve?
Everyone has their life purpose. Follow your own pace to search for it. No one can tell you the answer, you need to find it yourself during the journey. Ups and Downs is just a way for you to explore life, never give up searching.
Where can we follow you?