Thoughts on the Movie “The Farewell”

“The Farewell” is an award-winning movie made by a Chinese-American filmmaker in Hollywood. It’s about a Chinese grandma who had stage 4 lung cancer and her whole family returning to China from abroad to say goodbye. The catch was that the entire family knew their grandma would die soon except they kept this information from her. The story took place when the family, especially the 2 sons and grandchildren in the US and Japan, struggled between the Chinese culture and the American culture. This movie maked me laugh and cry at the same time. Christine gave a review of the moive in connection with her life. https://lungcancer.net/living/cultural-differences-the-farewell/

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis. I’m grateful for HaoPei’s generosity.

My Take about Racism

Last week, Canadian prime minister, Dustin Trudeau’s pictures taken 18 years ago were surfaced with his darkened face to imitate Disney movie “Aladdin”. Suddenly it’s found that Trudeau is a racist, and that coloured Canadians suffered for so many years, it’s all because “Trudeau is a racist”. How ridiculers?!

Yes, Trudeau had made a big mistake, it’s his poor judgement. Yes, such pictures showed the precise altitude of ignoring the calculative effect. Yes, the coloured people are suffering for decades due to the racism. As a coloured 1st generation of immigrant to Canada, I condemn the racism, but let’s look at the racism again. It has nothing to do with the election.

I condemn the racism, but…

Racism is not an action, it’s a habit. For some people who are not exposed to other culture or don’t know other people well, they tend to judge, unintentionally, use their own criteria. Some people who are brought up being educated to love their country, may think they are the best among the human race. Some may reach to the conclusion of being the best race based on intellectual or physical capacity or economic status. It’s natural for human to assume so, especially in the past. So if a person claims that he/she is not racist, if he/she knows what he/she is talking about, he/she is a rare special person. Otherwise, do not criticize others to be racists, as if only you are immune to racism.

I condemn the racism, but…

We have made great progress comparing with years ago. I noticed the following changes.

For me, as coloured 1st generation of Canadians, we have the connection with our motherland, like it or not, though we live in this beautiful country. The prosperity of our motherland directly affects how we see ourselves and how other people look at us. For example, Japanese and South Koreans feel relatively less discrimination compared with other Asians because GDP in these countries is high comparable to those developed countries. China develops so fast, not only it become 2nd economic power house in the world, but also it directly challenges USA. Recently Huawei’s new 5G technology is an example, no disputable.

From personal perspective, we have done something also to accelerate the equality. In the university where I worked (Faculty of Engineering), the majority of the faculty member is non-Canadian born. In other faculties and universities, even in states, I suspect the situation is the same. I remember one year I was in the search committee of the Department of Mathematics to hire a junior professor, as usual, we had a talk from Human Recourse to remind us the minority of the faculty member candidates. One white professor semi-joked that the minority in math department was Caucasians.

Many outstanding individuals have made the coloured people visible and proud. Consider lung cancer experts as the example, Dr. Alice Shaw, a Chinese descent, Dr. Hossein Borghaei, an Iranian, Dr. Stephen Liu, a Chinese, Drs. Ishwaria & Vivek Subbiah, Indians, Dr. Bishal Gyawali, a Nepalese, Dr. Gilberto Lopes, a Brazilian, etc. Talk about racism on these people-your life is in their hand. Also I noticed that Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC/Radio-Canada) did a very good job in that they have so many coloured news anchors to show the diversity.

To me, this is the only way to gain other people’s respect. Otherwise, we are begging the equality.

I condemn the racism, but…

Racists are often meant white people. How about coloured people? Coloured people are not immune to racism. They are further divided based on region, colours, religions, race, and the discriminations are obvious among ourselves. It’s sad that people who are discriminated, discriminate others.

In summary, it’s imperative to realize the existence of racism and to keep changing it. However, racism is not an action, it’s a habit. It takes a long time to change how people think. We cannot put blame on one person or a group of people. Collectively we have to change the culture, forgive but learn from it.

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis. I’m grateful for HaoPei’s generosity.

Going Back to Work or Advocacy

I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 4 years ago. For the first 3 years, I was on a rollercoaster and had no idea what would strike me. One year ago, my cancer kind of stabilized. Christine was strugling if she should go back to work or advocate. https://lungcancer.net/living/work-or-advocacy/

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis. I’m grateful for HaoPei’s generosity.

Lung Cancer Patients Living Self-Portrait Series: Chinese ROS1+ Group

I wanted to create a living self-portraits series about lung cancer patients and caregivers. These portraits are about our feelings, our journey, especially how we got to this point. I will interview the patients and the caregivers as if I am a brush in their hand. This is the first interview I conducted on a friend who is a member of Chinese ROS1+ Group. I wanted to interview him because he has several personal traces that impressed me. https://lungcancer.net/living/living-self-portrait-ros1/

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis. I’m grateful for HaoPei’s generosity.

An Interview That Never Happened

When I opened Facebook the other week, I was surprised when I found out that Justin Perry had passed away. As a person with advanced lung cancer, I thought I would handle death better, but Justin’s death had a deep impact on me. I talked to Justn twice on FB and considered to interviw him for “Self-Portrait Series of Lung Cancer”, but…. See my article about how Justin impact me. https://lungcancer.net/living/remembering-justin-perry/

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis. I’m grateful for HaoPei’s generosity.

Lung Cancer Patients Living Self-Portrait Series: Christine

I wanted to create a living self-portraits series about lung cancer patients and caregivers. These portraits are about our feelings, our journey, especially how we got to this point. I will interview the patients and the caregivers as if I am a brush in their hand. Today, I interviewed myself as the 1st living self-portrait of the series.https://lungcancer.net/living/self-portrait-series-christine/

斐-8My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis.

How Should I Talk About My Lung Cancer?

I’m not a social person but it doesn’t bother me. When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I became even more isolated. One reason is that I didn’t know how to talk to people about my cancer. Later, I also noticed that my colleagues didn’t know how to talk to me either. How can I talk comfortably with people, especially those don’t have cancer?https://lungcancer.net/living/talking-about-my-cancer/

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My friend HaoPei (斐皓) is a Stage 4 lung cancer patient, 37 years old. This picture was taken by him when he traveled in rural China after his diagnosis.