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The Eurasian Face

The Eurasian Face cover. Image: Blacksmith Books

Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:

Image: Blacksmith Books

Adrian Da Silva
Musician / Songwriter

I was born in Hong Kong, my mother is British and met my Macanese Chinese father here when her family moved to Hong Kong.

As a child, being Eurasian had no real impact on me. I went to an international school and everyone was different. Now I am older, I appreciate the ambiguity of being Eurasian, I kind of like not belonging to any particular ethnicity. It’s good to not be defined by any nationality and its accompanying stereotypes (although it has to be said that sometimes Eurasians have their own stereotype of being smart and good-looking!). Saying that, I think that this ambiguity is not the preserve of Eurasians alone. Being such a cosmopolitan place, people in Hong Kong generally have a choice to take what they want from each culture. Even if you belong to a nationality, it doesn’t mean that you have to be immersed in that nationality. A lot of Asians identify with other countries, for example in following football, or being fans of different music.

I play and sing in a band and although sometimes it seems a bit weird to be playing English music to a mostly local crowd, I feel that music is truly international – it doesn’t matter about language. Everyone knows who Michael Jackson is.

Being Eurasian has not really affected my music career. The only time it really comes up is during interviews when I’m always asked how I can look kind of Chinese and have lived here for 29 years and not speak Cantonese. The only answer I can give is that in the international school bubble, many if not most of us couldn’t speak Cantonese regardless of how long we’d been in Hong Kong or even if we had been born here.

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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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