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Overseas Chinese students create video to combat xenophobia


02-17-2017 08:27 BJT

In response to a series of xenophobic incidents at Columbia University, where East Asian name tags were ripped off in multiple residence halls. Chinese International students are sharing the story of their names by creating a short video.

What's behind a Chinese name?

19 year-old Columbia University student Yan Huhe, from Hohhot, China, created the video titled "Say My Name," in response to fears of growing xenophobia after several cases of vandalism in which Chinese name tags were removed from dormitory doors.

"The first incident, later on as we learned, happened at the start of the semester. But it was only until around Chinese New Year that we started to realize these are targeting us, that they're happening specifically to Chinese international students," Yan said.

Columbia University issued a statement saying they "deeply value the diversity of their students, their cultures and the perspectives they bring to the school.

And that they "take incidents like this very seriously and are continuing to investigate and support affected students.

But these Chinese students wanted to make their their voices were heard as well.

"We feel like people need to learn why these names are important to us, why we're angry. It's because of ignorance. It's because they don't know how much cultural significance these names have to us. And we don't want to respond in a violent way or like a violent protest. We wanted to sit down and have a conversation with these people," Yan said.

The video has generated positive responses not just from Asian students here at Columbia University, but also from the school itself, which has shared the video on its Facebook page.

The video has also been widely shared by users from as far away as Canada, the U-K, Germany, Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, and of course at home in China.

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