China & its Jewish History

November 26, 2011, 11:12 PM posted in General Discussion

CP's recent article brought to mind one of my favorite stories of speaking Chinese.  I live in the US and >1/2 my poker buddies are Jewish. 

In my son's swimming class (in the US), I met a woman from Beijing.  We spoke a mix of Chinese & English.

The next week, she came into the pool area and sat right next to me.  After a moment, she looked intently at me and with great curiousity asked "what's your ethinicity????"  I said mostly Scottish with some English & German.  She said "no, no, no, Are you Jewish???"  (I'm not).

I would have thought it a strange question, but I had just read Hessler's book "Rivertown," in which he discussed the positive view of Jews by many Chinese.  I was flattered that she thought my Chinese was good enough that I could be Jewish <g>.  I couldn't wait to tell my poker buddies. 

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