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The folks from YouTube channel TMD Shanghai are back with yet another quirky observational video about life in China. After nailing the differences between girls in the north and those in the south and mercilessly sending up both single white and Chinese men, this time they’re here to talk about what it’s like to be black in China with a video titled, well, Being Black in China.

Having spent a grand total of 10 days in mainland China – during which I was mostly hiking along the remains of the Great Wall and thus far, far away from any towns or cities – I’m in no position to comment on what life is like for foreigners living there. I’m also about as black as a Hollywood A-lister’s smile, so can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to live in China as a person of African descent.

But having spoken with black friends and coworkers living in Japan, I know that their experiences can be quite far removed from my own, with the perks of being a gaijin often applying only to white men such as myself. Black people – men in particular – are all too often automatically assumed to be into hip hop and reggae, to be familiar with all the gangsta rappers whose work has made it across the Pacific Ocean, and although they are now thankfully in the minority, some Japanese people still struggle to get their head around the idea that to be a “true” Westerner – or even a native English speaker, for that matter – you don’t have to be white.

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The quote I included in the title of this post might read like something concocted by a writer looking for laughs or hoping to shock, but even as a comparatively privileged white guy living in Japan I’ve been asked similarly ridiculous, jaw-droppingly stupid (naive?) questions, including such interrogative gems as “Why is your nose big?”, “What is the difference between you and [my white co-worker] Damien?” and, my personal favourite, “Where in America is England?”

So while I approached this video from TMD Shanghai expecting a few laughs, I also had a sneaking feeling that there’s probably a lot of truth to it, too.

Check it out for yourselves. As ever, let us know what you thought of the video, and your own experiences if you can relate, in the comments section below.

Source/screenshots: YouTube: TMD Shanghai