An analyst assigned to my project came to see me today to discuss testing and installation. She was intrigued by the family pictures that I hanged on the wall. The beauty of the gorge, valley and mountains in Taroko National Park captured her eyes. I told her that they were pictures taken in Hualien, Taiwan. She told me of her first trip outside of her home town when she was seventeen years old traveling alone to Taipei, Taiwan. I was surprised to learn that she does not speak Mandarin but she could read the traditional Chinese characters without problem. My thoughts went astray. How could she have poor command of the English language, yet does not speak Mandarin at all? How could she understand the traditional Chinese characters, yet has no knowledge of the spoken language, Mandarin? I know. I am so bad. I shouldn’t be so presumptuous. Looks can be deceiving. She has a facial feature like a Chinese. You would not think of her as someone from other ethnic groups.
It was interesting to hear her claiming to be the descendant of the royal family of the Song Dynasty that moved to Korea. She further stated that she kept her last name “Song” as her middle name to carry on her heritage. She went on with the story of how the royal family tree only kept a record of the sons but not the daughters, so her name was not recorded. Anyway, she sure pulled a prank on me because I suck at Chinese History. If she was not pulling a prank on me, she must also suck at Chinese History. Don’t laugh at me. I only vaguely remembered that “Kuangyin” was the founder of the Song Dynasty.
When I told my husband of this interesting event, he laughed at me. He told me that the royal family of the Song Dynasty does not carry a surname of “Song”. It is “Zhao” instead. Maybe I was not presumptuous after all. Maybe she is indeed a Chinese, pretending to be a Korean. Maybe she just made up the story because she knew that I am a Taiwanese who hates Chinese Communism and yearns for Taiwan’s independence. Maybe I should ask her to teach me to speak Korean.
Written By Elisa English, 版權所有
On 9/13/10 in Minneapolis