This Breaks My Heart

I am Canadian by birth but my background is Han Chinese.

That is not a very popular thing to admit to these days.

It is hard to turn on the TV and not see reports on what is happening in Xinjiang, the western-most province in China.

I don’t have a clear understanding of the situation other than what I have been hearing and reading in the media. I know one group is saying one thing, the other group saying something else, people are dead, families on both sides have been destroyed and the Chinese government’s reputation in this regard is less than stellar.

These (and other ethnic) tensions within this vast country are nothing new.

I don’t have a magic solution to all this unrest but what I do know is you can’t bully the Chinese government. Do they care what anyone thinks? I would imagine not so much.

The Han Chinese is being portrayed as a behemoth being allowed to raze the countryside but that is unfair to both sides. It is not a black and white situation- they never are. It is easier for us to see things as good or evil but that is an assessment that should only be tolerated in a child.

What hits home for me are the stories about what people on the ground are going through. I read this story yesterday that made me cry. I am getting emotional just thinking about it.

It’s about a family’s loss. Their only child- a son. They made the move westward, away from all they knew, to build a better life.

That is what my parents and immediate relatives did- though they had the good fortune to choose Canada and the U.S. But you never just do it for yourself. You make the big leap, take a risk so you can also make the lives of your entire family a little easier. Often, a family will pool their resources to send one person in the hopes that they will be successful, help do the same for another member of the family while helping the family at large.

This kind of thing is not done without sacrifice. And this family made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to make a better life.

Don’t hate them because they happen to belong to the same ethnic group as the government in power. Feel for them because they just wanted to do better.

Life is not easy and it is not always fair but both sides ultimately want the same things. We are all trying to make our lives and the lives of our children better. That is what we all want. Better.

Hate the situation. Abhor the violence. But think before you point your finger in judgment.


~ by angryegg on July 10, 2009.

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