Huaren Project

Remember when I wrote a capstone on Skin Whitening in China? Well two of this year’s Alliance Beijing students worked together to create a capstone video documentary on Huaren in China. Huaren, are ethnically Chinese people who live outside of China, such as “Chinese Americans”. The video is extremely well done, and I couldn’t help but give a “shout-out” to my fellow Alliance alums.

Here is a description of the project, written by Mick Wang:

There are over 54 million people of Chinese ancestry living in places other than China. Many overseas Chinese find themselves a handful of generations removed from their ancestral homeland, the stories of their ancestors quickly graying in memory. Today, an increasing number of Huayi, or foreign-born Chinese, are finding their way back to China to learn the language, rediscover the culture, and search for their place between China and the countries they come from.

Today, China is in the midst of another major migration. With a growing number of Chinese students attending “Western” universities and an increasing number of foreigners visiting China, there is no doubt that China’s relationship with the rest of the world is no longer just inevitable but vital. China will continue to grow and affect the lives of all nations, but within the country itself lies a new migratory phenomenon. In Beijing alone, millions of people known as Beipiao are flocking to the city. The modern term Beipiao, literally translated as “Beijing floaters”, identifies Chinese who come from different areas of China to start a new life through higher education and work. This migration is all in the search for a better life.

To understand the story of China’s rise, one must understand the tale of these people whose pursuit of a better life has become the fuel for this country on high.
This film shows insight into the lives of Beipiao while forming a link between Chinese and Huaren born overseas. Through the lives of Jian Wei, Jang Yan, and Zhou Zhao Hui, we’ll take you inside the thoughts and dreams of the interesting and often difficult lives of Chinese chasing a brighter future. Put together the narrative of Beipiao and the lives of Huayi, reveal the forgotten links in the Chinese migration story while unveiling a possible pattern for the future; a future that may just involve Chinese all over the world helping each other to understand their past and their future.

Check out their documentary:

(If it says there’s an error loading the video, click “use original player”. If the video won’t load, you can click “Vimeo” in the bottom right and corner, which will take you to the original video.)

Both Mick and Ralston also have blogs of their own. I worked with them when I was the Student Blog Coordinator as part of my internship with the Alliance this last year, and they are both very talented. If you have some spare time, make sure you check out Mick’s blog and watch Ralston Louie’s Yunnan trip video.

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About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I currently live in China where I'm studying for my master's degree!
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