故事38 | An overseas Chinese trying to find his roots

我在中国的家 2022
故事38 | An overseas Chinese trying to find his roots

Hi there! My name is Yeang. I was born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, and I am of Chinese descent. I have traveled to more than 21 countries and worked in 5 different countries. For the past 10 years I have lived in China.

大家好!我叫 Yeang,是一名华裔,在马来西亚槟城出生长大。我去过的国家超过 21 个,曾在 5 个国家工作。过去的 10 年里,我一直住在中国。

The Culture & Languages


As an overseas Chinese, we share very similar culture, language, and dialects with Chinese people. Many people may not know about the story and history of overseas Chinese migration from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Most of our ancestors mainly came from Fujian and Guangdong provinces. Malaysia is a harmonious multiracial country and it has the highest population of overseas Chinese, and, so far, the best-preserved Chinese culture, religion, and traditions. In Penang, Malaysia, where I am from, our education systems were very different than any other country that I have ever visited. In schools we are taught in Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysia’s national language), which is similar to Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language). English as a secondary language is compulsory in all levels. In some schools there are additional languages such as Mandarin Chinese and Tamil. I am English-educated, and therefore I could not converse in the Chinese language before I came to China.

我是一名海外华人,我们与中国人有着非常相似的文化、语言和方言。许多人可能不了解 16 世纪到 19 世纪海外华人的移民史。马来西亚是一个和谐的多民族国家,是华裔人口最多的国家,我们的祖先主要来自福建和广东两省。目前,马来西亚也是中国文化、宗教和传统保存得最好的国家。我的家乡是马来西亚槟城,我们的教育体系与我去过的其他国家都存在巨大区别。学校用马来语(马来西亚的国语,与印尼语相似)教学。英语是第二语言,在任何教育阶段都是必修课。一些学校还会教其他语言,比如汉语和泰米尔语。我接受的是英语教育,因此来中国之前,我不会讲汉语。

It was really difficult during the beginning, especially the first year, when I couldn’t speak or understand Chinese in China, although I look no different than a Chinese. It took me a year and half to master Mandarin, and not just Cantonese when I am in Guangdong Province. I could speak it fluently, but still could not read and write in Chinese. I lead a team of 30-50 associates and it has been proven that my non-native Mandarin works very effectively and efficiently. I found that it is not how well we master the language, but rather how to deliver the message and have our communication be understood deeply though heart and mind, that is the most important. 

刚来中国的时候,特别是第一年,语言成为一项挑战。虽然我长着一张华人面孔,但我既听不懂汉语,更不会讲汉语。我花了一年半的时间掌握普通话,还学会了粤语。我普通话说得很流利,但仍然读不懂中文,也不会写。我领导一个由 30-50 名同事组成的团队,事实证明,汉语虽然不是我的母语,但是工作时用汉语交流非常高效。我发现,最重要的不是语言本身掌握得有多好,而是如何用语言传递信息,通过交流让人们深刻理解我们的心灵和思想。

Careers & Opportunities


In China, there is endless opportunity as long as we know what we want in life and what it takes to achieve it. “Where there is a will, there is always a way.” I first came to China through Shenzhen and started to work in the hospitality industry for years, until I saw another golden opportunity that matched my skills, ability, and capability; I immediately started a company and ran a small business. I never thought in my life that I would eventually be doing business though my own registered company anywhere. I am a typical corporate white-collar employee in a large MNC (multinational corporation). This is where I learned and elevated my capability to the next level where there is no support or well-structured organization. We have to do everything by ourselves, such as understanding how to run a legal and proper company in China. It is complicated and not easy everywhere to run a business and operate it successfully in compliance with the law. 

在中国,只要我们明白自己想要什么样的生活,以及怎么来实现它,就拥有无限的机会。“有志者,事竟成。”我在中国落脚的第一个城市是深圳,在深圳做了多年服务业,然后我发现一个与我的技能、能力和实力相匹配的黄金机会。我立即开了一家公司,经营小生意。我从未想过,自己会开公司做生意。我是一个典型的企业白领,经营一家大型 MNC(跨国公司)。公司给了我学习和提升的机会,让我更上一层楼。即使没有团队协助,我也能把事情做好。我们必须自力更生,学习如何在中国合法经营一家公司。遵守法律法规的前提下,在任何地方成功运作一家企业都是复杂且不容易的。

As a startup, it can be really difficult to set up everything by ourselves with our experience, efforts, and ability in a country that is foreign to us. But as long as we insist on our passions and never give up, there is nothing that can really stop us from being successful. I am glad and very grateful that I am surrounded with a lot of great leaders who provide connections as well as business opportunities for me. 


Sometimes in life, we just need to be positive and patient to attract good things to happen in our lives. Be grateful for what we have in life and life will be good. 


The City


I love to travel and explore but ended up choosing to settle down in Shenzhen. Shenzhen is so far the best city for me as it reflects the modern and new China where everything is new, well organized, very green, fast-paced, and of course, warm. Shenzhen has a unique motto: “Everyone is a Shenzhener once you are in Shenzhen.” This is the reason I fell in love at first sight with China through Shenzhen.


The weather in Shenzhen is very similar to that of my hometown Penang. There are clear skies and it’s very hot, of course. For the past 10 years, I have learned and grown so much, and even been an eyewitness to the speed of development in Shenzhen. There was a time when there was just 1 metro line and now there are around 15 lines, 3 airports, and Asia’s largest international Convention and Exhibition Center in Shenzhen.

深圳的天气与我家乡槟城非常相似。天朗气清,但也很热。过去的 10 年里,我学到了很多东西,也成长了许多。我亲眼见证了深圳的高速发展。曾几何时,深圳只有一条地铁线,而现在大约有 15 条地铁线,3 个机场,还有亚洲最大的国际会展中心。

It is an honor and a privilege to see a city grow and to grow together with it. I started my career here and grew as an entrepreneur/startup because I was given an opportunity to prove myself and compete in the corporate ladder with my hard work and passion.


I am very lucky and fortunate to be part of the growth and development of a great city and a country called China. I welcome more and more people to know about the existence of us overseas Chinese here and anywhere. I have met many and various people who create and share their experience or even exchange wonderful stories with me. I have never experienced such great moments and I am proud of myself and whom I’ve become in China.




Home Away From Home 2022

  1. Voyage au centre de moi-même. Alain Thirion (French)
  2. Le fabuleux destin « sucré » de Melody. Par Melody Pace (French)
  3. My Blessed Guangzhou Life. Namrata Motiani
  4. Life’s a Beach. Anvita Ramakrishna
  5. Choosing China. Gerhard Uys (Ace)
  6. Faith in Xiamen. Faith Bautista
  8. My unique person Casey Ellzey
  9. Sam: At Home in the Classroom
  10. Ann: Guangzhou – my home in South East China
  11. Maria: Xiamen fever
  12. Daniel: The “link” between Xiamen and Medieval Europe
  13. Joanne Ko: F**k, I’m American
  14. Mea: Finding a Home in China
  15. Paige: Neighborly
  16. My story of 缘分 with China(Spainish)
  17. Memories from Pakistan by Sheraz Anwar
  18. Do You Believe In Second Chances? By Julian Quander
  19. A pastry chef in China by Pol Anter
  20. What does the other side of the world look like? By Daniel Esteban
  21. My love story with China. By Ana Lafuente
  22. Can I be like you in three months? By Moxi
  23. Dating with China. By Viktoria Radnaeva
  24. Living harmoniously with nature in Beijing. By Miranda
  25. Becoming home. By Amy Vernon
  26. Finding my happily ever after in China. By Khola
  27. Boundless life, boundless world. By Dr. Manu
  28. Home is where the heart is. By Meeta Bhagtani
  29. Rumah kedua Ku. By Dhina Ramadiani
  30. A child of the Garden City. By Marc Alexander
  31. Unforgettable Moments in China by Abid Hussain
  32. A Time in Hangzhou. By Abdoulaye M’Begniga
  33. Shenzhen never bores you. By Edcia Alcocer
  34. Nailed it! By Helen Bondarenko
  35. Suburban Adventures. By Felix Kraemer
  36. A Jar of Memories. By Natasa Vujicic
  37. Finding the past and my future in Xiamen. By Adam Loomis
  38. An overseas Chinese trying to find his roots. by Yeang
  39. Drive your dreams. By Alvaro Montoya
  40. A new home. By Ian Hylton
  41. CHINA: A Place Where My Heart Dwells. By Fahad Javaid
  42. Mischief and Mishaps in the Middle Kingdom. By Paula Zhou
  43. I love Wuhu, I love China! By Zarina Ismailova
  44. How the ice city melts my heart. By Yolande Deane
  45. Collecting countries to find my true self. By Anna Kova
  46. A One in a Million opportunity- Building a Community. By Alexia Vargas
  47. Have to be Strong. By Randy Alexander