I’m a banana.
No, not the fruit. It’s a term used on a Chinese who doesn’t have good command in Chinese language.
I’m not sure about others, but in Malaysia, people tend to label a Chinese who is weak at their mother language as “banana”. Why?
Firstly, it’s because the fruit is yellow outside but white inside. So this applies to Chinese bananas too – they have Chinese skin, but they are White inside. Get it?
Can you spot the banana in the picture?
It’s not a bad thing actually. In fact, many Chinese these days aren’t that “traditional” anymore. Quite a number are English-educated, therefore they possess good English, but weak Chinese.
A few years back in high school, I was a total banana. I can’t even construct a proper sentence in Chinese. I was called a “banana” sometimes. Maybe I looked like this to them…
Anyway, things went better when I started learning. So currently, although I can speak some Cantonese and Mandarin, I’m still a banana because I can’t read and write in Chinese.
However I still find it hard to understand some Mandarin at times. Take this scenario for example… Let’s say I’m in Taiwan, traveling. And then this girl suddenly came and started talking to me in Mandarin.
I can only hear this – Chi chi ge ge cho cho chi leeerr!
Since the chances of me understanding is low, I guess I’d be staring at her with amazement. I was speechless, and she says something again.
Then again – Chi chi ge ge cho cho chi deeerr?
P/S: If you are non-Chinese or a Chinese banana like me, get some non-bananas to interpret the conversation for you.
So that’s what I usually encounter when I’m in a total non-banana environment. If people use super-damn-hard Chinese words to me, I’ll be super-damn-blur!
Sad case huh? I bet most of the bananas in Malaysia experience this all the time.
Or… to prevent such thing from happening – maybe I should come up with a t-shirt!
And wear it wherever I go! Then everyone who sees me will automatically speak English with me, or avoid me if they’re 0% banana. Or… can it be fan shirt, since some of the “fans” in kenwooi.com‘s Facebook Fan Page requested for it? =P
Anyway, here’s the point – none of us bananas wanted to be born as a banana. It’s probably just the environment we grew up with. So do cut some slacks on us, still can use English what… right? =)
Oh yeah, not forgetting our very special guest for the entry – Cyndi Wang!
She’s a total mango (outside yellow, inside yellow) and she definitely made me feel more banana. Hmm…