Yesterday, as part of our history class we had a diplomat from the American embassy come and talk to us. What started off as a speech about the cold war, in which it was not once mentioned, quickly turned into an attempted recruitment of U.S citizens.
This diplomat went by the name of Esther Pan Sloane, a Chinese American whose family moved to the U.S when she was very young. She lived and studied there and now works to represent her country abroad in countries such as the U.K and China, as she speaks quite a few different languages including English, Chinese and German. Currently, her job involves her looking at applications for American citizenship and determining whether or not someone meets the requirements.
From what she told us it seems pretty easy to become a citizen. Unlike in many other parts of the world, you can become American by just simply being born in the U.S. I’m not entirely sure, but you may even have the right of American citizenship if your mother gives birth to you on an aeroplane flying over the U.S!
For this reason, there is the big question of what does an American even look like? America is such a culturally diverse place and so full of people from different origins that you can’t really tell just from looking if someone is American. What do you look for? The unique shade of white in their eyes? I suppose the only way to distinguish between them and the rest of the world would be by their accents and even those tend to vary from state to state. You have the wild-west cowboy accent, the Disney accent, the valley girl accent…
Anyone could be an American. Whereas in another country, such as China, it is much more obvious. You would not expect a tall black person; curly black hair, big brown eyes; to be Chinese. Nor would you expect a short white person; straight blonde hair, blue eyes; to be Chinese. There is one specific profile that must be matched in order for a person to be accepted by most people as Chinese.
So, from this very interesting (totally irrelevant) visit I benefitted quite a lot. Instead of learning about the differences between America and Russia and the ways in which they competed with each other, I realised that there are no such thing as black Chinese people. I have also concluded that despite my misconceptions about them not having to pay tax, I wouldn’t mind pursuing a career as a diplomat. Therefore, I am going to have to look into commiting fraud or purchasing a house in Switzerland.