The alarm goes off at 8 a.m. on time. After getting up, Ella Chen finishes her breakfast and went to the Fisher library to review her lessons. At noon, she has lunch in hurry in canteen because she has to rush to her BUSS 5001 lecture half hour later. From 6p.m. to 9p.m., Ella has another course’s lecture and tutorial. Until she completes her whole classes, she arrives home has been already over 10 o’clock. Exhausted Ella has to prepare for her breakfast even though she just wants to have a rest. This is a common school day of Ella. This is also a common school day of most of Chinese student in the Business College of the University of Sydney. Some of her local classmates are always amazed by their hard works.
Ella stays up late to fight with her final assignment. Photograph: Ella’s WeChat site.
She complains that she would be busier than the common school day during exam weeks. She says most of her classmates and she is afraid of being failed. She is also confused and angry that why do some people in Australia leave negative comments on them who study very hard. Similar conditions also happened commonly around lots of overseas students before. However, this kind of situation is raised onto a debatable level on account of a man’s public comments.
It is known that a man with Asian appearance in a photo who wears baccalaureate gown and a pair of glass, which shows that he has great learning, stands in front of the Economic Building of the University of Sydney. This photo was widely spread on the front page of various the mass media in Sydney. Some insulting remarks on Chinese students in Sydney made by the main role of this photo have caused considerable controversy among the public. He not only called his students as ‘pig’ on class because of their terrible performance on their academic assignments but also uploaded offensive sentences on his Chinese social media site, Weibo.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Wei Wu’s incident. Photograph: snapshot of Sydney Morning Herald
His name is Wei Wu, a young and promising tutor of the University of Sydney who has just obtained Australian citizenship for two years. Before he could realize his ambition on his career and achieve accomplishment in academic field, his entire prospect was broken off suddenly. Wei Wu’s insulting speech caused numerous Chinese students’ hostility. They assigned a petition to request for the equality and respect. Ella is a member of them.
“We met with lots of obstacles during this petition.” Ella told me that a group of students who support Wei Wu also presented a petition to acquire sympathy from the public and the official part haven’t show a clear standpoint nowadays. Also, what annoys her was the news report from the Sydney Morning Herald. In the University of Sydney ‘racist’ tutor Wei Wu row inspires dissident artwork, Chinese-Australian journalist Philip Wen commented that Chinese international students taking advantage of WeChat or other Chinese social media sites to “band together to share information and study tips, to overcome isolation and the inevitable language and cultural barriers that come with studying in a foreign land.” He used some negative words to show that Chinese international students have an inclination to huddle together instead of learning independently.
As the oldest national newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald expressed a little dissatisfaction to Chinese international students. While Ella and her comrades considered that as an official published newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald shouldn’t overgeneralize and make prejudiced judgments on all Chinese international students. What to be beyond comprehension is that the correspondent of this piece of news is a Chinese as well.
Wei Wu refused to accept the interview by me and he didn’t give any response to the public. I am trying to connect with his colleague but they all refused because they didn’t want to be involved into a controversial debate on racial problem. Their decline makes us hard to judge on Wei Wu’s real intention.
Wei Wu’s incident and relevant news report on the Sydney Morning Herald demonstrate that in Australia there is still much prejudice and even insults on Chinese international students. After interviewing with Mr. Ran Wang, an active participant of Chinese Overseas Community, his reply shows that this phenomenon is not an exception. Some of those non-objective comments are indeed made by a portion of Chinese in Australia as well.
As a connection of Chinese immigrants with the Australia, Mr. Wang has met with numerous Chinese overseas in Sydney. He told me “it is common that some Chinese immigrants hold similar thought with Wei Wu. The difference between them is that they seldom express their insult opinion in the public occasion. Hardly had some Chinese criticized on Chinese politics or society affairs when they obtained Australian citizens. For my opinion, people from different countries all possess some drawbacks on account of different social environment or economic conditions. We should embrace and understand those shortcomings instead of insulting them with prejudiced diction.”
Wei Wu’s incident happened over one month and people gradually forget this matter. Ella said that Wei Wu resigned his position and another tutor takes over his tutorial now. It seems to be resolved but Ella considered that this matter influenced her deeply. Their comments made her to exert a sense of inferiority. She is also confused that why can’t Chinese international students accept respect from some people who have same origins.
In Australia, racial discrimination is illegitimate. Insulting with each other among people who have their origins are definitely unbearable as well. Even though someone changes his or her nationality and obtains other country’s citizenship, it is not ethical for him or her to be irrespective to the country where he or she comes from.