Sunday, 1 April 2012

No need for a 2D-glasses for the movie, but maybe one for the word "acculturation"?

It is not big news that latest Chinese movie are entering Canadian theatres nowadays, especially when living in Toronto - I always found myself studying Chinese movie posters on TTC subway and thinking with a smile on my face, "This feels just like home".

Missed seeing The Viral Factor starring Jay Chou and Nicholas Tse just a couple of months ago, I was determined to join the release madness of "Love in the Buff" (the sequel of "Love in a Puff") when press announced that its premier in North America would occur on the last day of March.
Jumped out of the plane which just took me back from Chicago, me and my friends quickly gathered at the nearest AMC, looking forward to a completely Chinese movie night out experience.

The theatre was packed up with a rather long line of Chinese youngsters waiting to enter. Most of them were conversing in Cantonese or English, sharing some jokes from "Love in a Puff", or checking out Weibo and Facebook on iPhone. Again, this resemblance of how such social setting looks like Hong Kong brought me a sense of nostalgia as well as familiarity.
During the movie, you can hear laughter at the most Cantonese jokes and slangs, claps at the funny mimics of old pop culture from the 80s, and whispers about actors gossip. All these things were happening there in a western movie theatre far away from China, when hundreds of people sharing their strong and joyful attachment with their Chinese culture. Can they speak English? Absolutely, maybe even half of this group even reckon English as their first language. They spent a few years or even most parts of their life in Canada, they study or work in Canadian environments, they greatly enjoy western food and cultural activities, but all these doesn't affect how they feel about their own Chinese culture - whether its origin traces back to Hong Kong, Mainland, Taiwan, Fujian, etc.

For immigrants, it is a re-socialization process for all when entering a completely different culture from their original one. For some Canadian born Chinese, it is also an on-going acculturation process when one finds him/herself to some extend attached to the Chinese culture when being exposed to from an early age. Does the concept "acculturation", therefore, worth a second look when it is easily mistaken as a substituent term for "assimilation"? Should it be solely examined based on one's level of adaptation to the host country culture (ie. Canadian culture)? What is the alternative two-dimentional way to look at it?