My mum's from here and my dad's from Hong Kong and she got pregnant
when she was twenty, so they didn't stay together long after I was
born. At school, you know, people constantly made a difference and
said you must be Chinese, you are a tiddlywink, or, you know, you
are different than us, your skin is yellow and things like that,
it was horrible. I would never have associated myself at all with
being Chinese and I don't know anything about the culture. I don't
speak the language and you know I don't have any friends that are
Chinese. So I just...all my friends regard me as being Irish and
from here and that's the way I think of myself.
My children are half-local and half-Chinese as well. My daughter would consider herself Chinese and she wants to learn all the Chinese traditions, the culture - even learning Mandarin and writing the Chinese calligraphy, Chinese art - but my son, I think he probably feels more local, more English and so he is not so keen on learning all the things that his sister wanted to learn.
Pui Yee Li:
It's kind of hard to be brought up over here and you know that you are Irish. But people, by looking at you, they would call you names, just by walking down the street, or you are driving the car with the window down and they walk past you and they would chuck stones at you. I mean sometimes it really hurts but, I mean, there is nothing you can do. It's just the way parents bring up their children.
The funniest thing that anyone ever said to me about my Chinese-ness that I am a banana and that's a kind of a Chinese term, slightly racist but quite funny, to describe what British-born or Northern Irish-born Chinese people are, so that's white on the inside and yellow on the out.
(Extracts from BBC programme 'Chinatown NI' 23/09/2003)