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The meaning of «jook-sing»

Jook-sing or zuk-sing (竹升) is a Cantonese term for an overseas Chinese person who was born in a Western environment or a Chinese person who more readily or strongly identifies with Western culture than traditional Chinese culture.

The term jook-sing evolved from zuk-gong (竹杠; zhugang in Mandarin) which means a "bamboo pole" or "rod". Since gong (杠) is a Cantonese homophone of the inauspicious word 降 which means "descend" or "downward", it is replaced with sing (升), which means "ascend" or "upward".

The stem of the bamboo plant is hollow and compartmentalized; thus water poured in one end does not flow out of the other end. The metaphor is that jook-sings are not part of either culture; water within the jook-sing does not flow and connect to either end. The term may or may not be derogatory. Use of the term predates World War II.[1]

In the United States and Canada, the term is pejorative and refers to fully Westernized American-born or Canadian-born Chinese. The term originates from Cantonese slang in the United States. Jook-sing persons are categorized as having Western-centric identities, values and culture. The term also refers to similar Chinese individuals in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand.[citation needed]

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