Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You Know You Are Chinese

You know you are Chinese if
  1. You unwrap gifts very carefully, so you can save and reuse the wrapping (especially ribbons).
  2. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls and store them in your closet or in the bedroom of an adult child who has moved out.
  3. You keep a thermos of hot water available at all times.
  4. You save grocery bags, tin foils and tin containers. You use the grocery bags to hold garbage.
  5. You hate to waste food. Even if you're totally full, if someone says they're going to throw away the leftovers on the table, you'll finish them. (Your mom will give a lecture about starving kids in Africa). You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
  6. You don't own any real Tupperware - only a cupboard full of used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, take-out containers and jam jars.
  7. You have a collection of minature shampoo bottles that you take every time you stay in a hotel.
  8. You wipe your plate and utensils or wash them in a small basin of hot water before you eat everytime you go to a restaurant.
  9. You own a rice cooker and a slow cooker.
  10. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
  11. You fight (literally) over who pays the dinner bill.
  12. You have a teacup with a cover on it.
  13. If you're under age 20, you own a really expensive walkman. If you're over 20, you own a really expensive camera.
  14. You're a wok user.
  15. You only make long distance calls after 7pm.
  16. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached - it means they're fresh.
  17. You never call your parents just to say hi.
  18. If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they'll ask if you've eaten, even if it's midnight.
  19. Your parents tell you to boil herbs and stay inside when you get sick. They also tell you not to eat fried foods or baked goods because they're heaty (yeet hay in Cantonese).
  20. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you only sit 10 feet apart.
  21. You always cook too much.
  22. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don't eat the last piece of food on the table.
  23. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat buffet.
  24. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewelry or electronics, computers.
  25. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
  26. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
  27. You know why this list consists of only "28"reasons.
  28. You take this message and forward it to all your Chinese friends.

This list that I received through email struck me in more ways than one. I might not really agree that some of the traits are just associated to the Chinese community but many are clearly traits held by the Chinese alone regardless of where we are.


  1. hhm i save grocery bags for garbage...but what's tin can and tin foil for? and tho i'm chinese...hhm none of these 28 traits apply to me at all..hhm. does that mean i'm not really chinese???

  2. I got summore.

    1. You carry a big bottle of plain water to school.

    2. You wear white shoes and black socks.

    3. You have a round dinner table at home

    4. You walk in the park in the morning (only if you are above 50)

  3. @leona
    well, basically to reuse them in whatever way possible! i believe you can find a few that will match you if you don't just take the list that literally. for example #2, it could be just anything other than toilet paper. the point here is you want to save on an item by buying bulk during promotion. anyway, the list is just for laughs.

    well, there's actually quite a few more but you do know why it stops at #28 right? ;)

  4. That's a good list. I think you forgot about the part we practically eat everything. No animal is too weird for a Chinese.

  5. well, it wasn't me who prepared the list but it is by no means a comprehensive list, mind you... :P

  6. haha, i don't know how true is the list, i'm chinese and the only point i can relate to is the one about calling your parents to say hi.

  7. yeah kshern, why does it stop at 28?

    'dui bu chi', not chinese, i dunno...

  8. I'm keeling over laughing, Kshern. You know all of this could be applied to being Irish too; especially as I have a Chinese husband, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, and assorted in-laws.

    3,4,5,6,9,10,14,24,25,26 definitely apply to me. And I have been present more than once at the "ritual" fight over who pays the dinner bill. Also while one "fight" was in progress, I quietly took the dinner bill and paid it. There was consternation and a lot of silence as we travelled home. Ah the joy of a mixed cultural marriage!! :-)

  9. @lingghezhi & delphynus
    28 is an auspicious number for certain people. 9883 (which adds up to 28) and the various combinations and variants are very much sought after for car number plates.

    i'm sure many other races can relate to this list too but as for malaysians, we chinese will be able to relate more to this list than the other races here.

    oh...and i don't get the "let me pick up the bill fight"...i would be ecstatic for someone else who is willing to pay to do so! :P