Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't call me Laowai, bitch!

Are you a little tired at being called Laowai? Don't like to be lumped in that category? It seems to be a tad too negative for my liking. Kind of like lumping foreigners in a 'can't be like us Chinese category'.

But what else can we be called? WaiGuoRen (foreign person) is ok although still implies outsider (not like us). YangGuiZi (foreign ghost or devil) is a bit much.

[More about those terms here]

Or should we really be thinking about what to call ourselves? I think it's about time we had an endonym to call ourselves, the foreigners living in Taiwan. Enough of these antiquated and loaded names (exonyms) that locals have for us. Anyone have any ideas?

Foreign friend? Foreign guest? Foreign slave? Something else?

Alternatively we could just start calling each other LaoWai and make the word our own much like some Taiwanese have twisted the term TaiKe.

When I see you on the street and you hear me say, "What's up LaoWai?" you could reply "Laowai, long time no see". It might worth the trouble to say how locals react.

On a final note, a friend of mine once drunkenly blurted out, "Caucasian is just Asian with a 'Cauc' ". He was a 'Cauc' alright for saying that. But at least he took a shot at claiming a stake to the name.

Take your best shot whether it be serious or idiotic. What name should we, the foreigners of Taiwan, lay claim to?
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