“How aahhrdyu?”

When I first came here, I thought that some of the kids were mocking my “Chinese-ness” by making ching-chong noises. Well, they do make those ching-chong noises, but some of them are actually speaking in English in such a heavy accent that it sounds mockingly Chinese to me.

Adults and kids alike do one of four things to me when they see me walking down the street.

1) Ignore me, which I like.

2) Stare at me, then ignore me, which I don’t mind.

3) Say “How aaahhrdyu?” (which is How are you? if you haven’t figured it out) in a really high pitched voice. I used to think the high-pitched voice was a mocking tone, but I actually think that they are imitating the voice of their English teacher, which was probably a woman. The kids in schools learn English by rote, so they sound just like their teacher. I have a video of kids learning the word “stomach” from the last time I was here. You can hear it for yourself: https://andreayun.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/day-5-with-the-kids/

4) They scream, “Mzungu!” (Mzungu means white person, and I’m considered white here, since I’m not black.) I don’t love this, because it seems like they’re making fun of me. But I don’t know what the implications behind that word are yet. It might just mean … white person.

This entry was posted in 2nd Kenya trip (Jun-Aug 2011), Kenyan students. Bookmark the permalink.

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