“What is race to Vanessa Yang?”

Bigqfilms asked Vanessa Yang what race means to her. Vanessa migrated from Fuzhou, China to Australia in 2011 and has completed her studies in 2013. Living in a multinational country, she is learning the importance of human identity to reduce racial prejudice faced in Australia. This is the response she gave:

“According to John H. Relethford, race is a population that shares some biological characteristics. It is widely accepted that primarily skin color, hair texture and face- shape can be used to classify people into different race groups. On the basis of this theory, two individuals who are both of Chinese descent but one grew up in an Asian country while the other was exposed to Western country are regarded as the same race called Mongoloid. However, when comparing the behaviour and mindsets between the two individuals, it turned out to be totally different. This is because when people try to identify themselves, they often imitate the behaviours from other people surrounding them. Their mindsets are influenced by different beliefs and education methods they are exposed to. It is hard to classify the race of someone who has Chinese descent but behaves the same as Caucasoid. In the age of globalization, the phenomenon like the example above is common. Therefore, distinguishing people from different race groups is not as simple as judgment of different appearances.

In my opinion, people lay emphasis on the variations which exist interracially rather than intra- racially. In the globalized background, it is meaningless to classify someone into a specific race but justify him or her as a unique individual influenced by their surrounding environment. A Mongoloid can believe in what the Caucasoid believes and act in the same way as a Caucasoid acts. In other words, race is a concept of human minds, not of nature.”


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