Southeast Asians: Regarded As “Servants” in Northeast Asia
I feel as if an unintentional, but nonetheless damaging, sort of ethnic discrimination against Southeast Asians has emerged in places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and to a lesser extent Japan.
The Southeast Asians I am referring to are the Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Filipino, and Vietnamese domestic helpers who left their home countries to work in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Japan.
Recently, when I was speaking to a Hong Kong resident on how widespread Southeast Asian migrant workers, or more specifically domestic helpers, are nowadays in Northeast Asia, we stumbled upon an unintentionally disturbing impression that the people in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Japan may have developed of Southeast Asians. Before I reveal what the disturbing impression is, let’s first try to understand how that idea manifested in our minds.
Before continuing to read, please let me clarify that I am neither demeaning the occupation of a domestic helper nor articulating any discriminatory prejudices that are representative of my own thoughts. I am only trying to explain an emerging mindset that the people in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China may be subconsciously developing.