Once again, I witnessed a game that rived up the Taiwanese against the Canadians.
I’ve always had people around asking me which side do I root for. It’s simple and straight forward. I want the Taiwanese to win the baseball game. I want them to win because they’ve worked SO hard and gone through SO much to get there. Plus, as a nation, Taiwaneses care about baseball much more than the Candians. To top that off, there are only a hand full of sports that Taiwan may have a slight chance of winning a medal, so that really is an easy pick.
But thoughts going through on my mind are much more complicated than that.
Passionate, is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Taiwanese. Usually I can throw in "genuine" but I’ve come to realize that, according to my perspectives, only apply to the grassrooted ones, and nowhere near the level of "simple" when compared with the Canadians, so I ma leave that off.
So would I say the Canadians are "simple?" That could be true, but I don’t think that is the attitude that makes them who they are right now. But I could never, ever, forget Steve Hodgson, who in my opinion, DEFINED Canadian. And the most impressive quality I’ve learned from him? That fiesty (and somewhat nasty) competitivness.
In today’s Olympic qualifying game between the two nations? They both showed exactly that. The Taiwaneses were skillful, calm, tactical, and cheerful when the game was going their favor. The Canadians were forceful, energtic, physical, and Screemed whenever they felt like it. Taiwanese would think, if we don’t offend anyone, everyone should respect us. The Canadians are thinking, no matter what happens, no one is gonna disrespect us. So there were some gunsmokes in the air, fiesty and familiar, no problem. My Taiwanese friends are asking me what’s going on with them/you Canadians? I just smiled. That’s what they are. Always competitive, striving for every possible chance to win, Legally I must say. Whether it was winning by slamming a homerun, physically knocking out the ball from the catcher, or even challenging verbally to mess up opponent’s cool, the whole nine yard, it doesn’t matter. They just want to WIN.
And I’m gonna go deeper than that.
It’s me. The Hybrid. Like it or not, growing up I was nourished in Taiwanese soil and then breathed the Canadian (or at least North American) air. The Taiwanese culture taught me to be modest and lowkey, yet the number one rule of survival in the Western world was to stand out. So I become the person that "sits quitely in the corner yet cannot be ignored." In the Western eyes, I was the skinny crafty Asian. In the Asian minds I became the solituding fiesty wierdo. To myself I was in between, like my name’s implied, Hans Harn is either unique or ordinary depends on where he’s at.
Having these qualities (along with others from the Americans, Germans, British, and recently discovered, French) have often got me the eyes of curiosity. The ones that may have the courage to speak to me and try to look into me a bit. And by interacting with those delighted minds, I got to reflect myself from them. As I think about these questions longer, I also receive more angles of reflections from others. The answers have become clearer, not certian, but clearer. I feel that for every moment I’ve lived and learned, life has imprinted some of its qualities in me. Thus the more I marinate under the culture, the stronger I’m influenced by it. And the more attracted I was to different ethics, they add to my characters. I may not had acknowledge them at the time, but they have played their roles. That’s why I’ve always had people telling me I reminded them of Germans, foreigners, or Tai-Kes, for that matter. Consequences? These influences are so diverse that it’s nearly impossible to bear one AND another (i.e. try to pair up British Gentleman and Eminem), and that’s a problem when people are getting to know more than one side of me.
Which brings the question back to the origin.
The Canadian within a Taiwanese. Watching today’s game reminded myself how much that Canadian spirit still lived in me. When I saw Taiwanese calling the Canadians "unsportsmanship," I thought they were just trying to win games. Or if there were some foreigners asking me why the Taiwanese fans were so "irrational," I know it too well that baseball is much more than just a game to them. My attitude, my rules, my principles, are based on two extremes. To be modest, or to be competitive? That’s also been the issue for my friends around me, they know me, but they can’t understand me. Or they understand me, but they don’t feel me. Or when they feel me, they have no option to bow to the reality and step away.
Yet, I truely believe qualities don’t need to be contradictory. They can be different AND opposite, they still don’t need to be contradictory.
Just like my old buddy recently discovered the recessive Sagiter that’s lived inside me, the me I’ve always claimed a Virgo.
I’ve survived no? Did that make sense?