By Atlas Al
As per the Constitution of Flagging, our definition of Frame-of-Mind Theory is… “Used to determine the nationality/flag of a person. One’s family background, history, or race is not their flag; it merely makes up a part of their identity.”
The frame of mind, point of view, or perspective a person has, determines which flag they are. We aren’t talking about race or physical characteristics; we’re talking about how a person operates; differentiating between one’s so-called hardware (body) and software (mentality).
In May 2011, The Hunger wrote a great article called Saudi Passport Yes, But No Saudi Flag. In it, his friends thought he had achieved the unachievable: capturing the extremely difficult Saudi Arabian Flag. Even though she was Saudi-born and looked Saudi Arabian, The Hunger failed to get flag status confirmation.
I’ve heard some say that the location of where a person was born defines their flag. I strongly disagree. I believe it’s more where a person grows up that determines their flag status, irrespective of what they look like. (Anyone up for a Nature versus Nurture debate?)
For example, a woman stands before you, but in two different scenarios:
- Scenario 1: She’s Chinese-Chinese. That is, her parents are both from China and she was born in China.
- Scenario 2: She’s Chinese-American. Her parents are both from China, she was born in China, but moved to the United States at a very young age.
Hook up with a Chinese-Chinese woman, you obviously got the Chinese Flag. To say you got the Chinese Flag after hooking up with a Chinese-American is incorrect. You got the American Flag.
This is because hooking up with a Chinese-American is more likely to happen than hooking up with a Chinese-Chinese. The same woman can have two exceptionally different frame of minds depending on which culture she grew up in. China: more conservative; USA: more liberal, especially when it comes to hooking up. If she grew up in the US, absorbed and exemplified American culture and values, she’s more American. The same woman can be completely different depending on which culture she identifies with more.
Lou Jing doesn’t look Chinese, but she is
At first glance, you wouldn’t think Lou Jing is Chinese. Her mother is from Shanghai and her father is American of African descent. She rose to fame in 2009 when she reached the final five contestants on Dragon TV’s Go Oriental Angel. Although she has many supporters, many people were baffled by her appearance and didn’t view her as a fellow Chinese.
Buddhists believe in reincarnation and regard the body as a shell for the soul to learn lessons in a particular lifetime, continually being reborn into the next body until the soul reaches enlightenment. I’m appalled that many Chinese, coming from a Buddhist country, wouldn’t consider Lou Jing as one of their own simply because of the color of her skin. She might not look stereotypically Chinese, but she is Chinese.
When we talk about Frame-of-Mind Theory, we usually examine non-white people in stereotypically white countries like the USA, Canada, and Europe. But what about white people that come from stereotypical black countries? I’ve met white people who said they were from African, Central American, or Caribbean countries where the majority of people are black.
Most Jamaicans are black as one would expect. According to the CIA’s World Factbook, 91.2% of Jamaicans are black. But what of the other 8.8%, what do they look like? The rest are of indigenous, European (mostly Irish), Indian, and Chinese descent yet they’re still Jamaican. I found an interesting video on YouTube with people of different backgrounds saying they’re Jamaican. For example, a Chinese-looking woman proudly says “I’m Jamaican 100%” and an Indian-looking man saying “Born and bred Jamaican.” Check it out here.
When you meet someone that doesn’t fit that country’s stereotype, curiosity kicks in and you want to know their family history. A while ago, I met a group of three people: a Norwegian guy and a Norwegian girl both with blond hair and blue eyes, and a third girl* who said, “I’m Norwegian, but my parents are from Chile.” It’s as if she knew what my next question was going to be because she didn’t look like a stereotypical Norwegian. Imagine how many times she has said she’s Norwegian and people are like, “But where are you really from?” As annoying as it must be for her, you can’t blame curious people. (*Not the same girl from Two Passports, One Person.)
Because of advancements in transportation and mass travel during the last 70 years, you could be anywhere in the world and meet anyone within 24 hours. It’s not so uncommon anymore to be around people from other countries or even fall in love with them. The status quo is changing. The world is becoming more mixed up, and for this reason, one must come to terms with their own flag status.
Frame-of-Mind Theory is a flagging gray area, an area to be discussed further. A person’s flag isn’t in their genes, it’s in their head.