One of the most known faces of reality show Indian Idol 3, Meiyang Chang has worked in a lot of TV projects and a couple of films. But in spite of the fact that he has earned popularity, people still shame him for his appearance as a Chinese descent. In a recent interview with Bombay Times, the singer-turned-actor revealed how he recently was subjected to public shaming when he went for jogging when two boys on the Mumbai street referred him as 'corona' amidst the widespread fear of the novel coronavirus which emerged from China's Wuhan city in December.
Talking to the portal, Chang said, "I go for a jog every day near my house in Mumbai. The other day, two guys sped past me on a bike, screaming ‘corona’ and laughing. I wanted to scream back and hurl the choicest of gaalis, but I didn’t see any point in it. How do you punish people for their stupidity or ignorance? Over the years, I have become used to these comments and yes, they are hurtful. I try to move on and be optimistic, but it does affect you."
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Well, here we are where I hope that you're all taking care of yourselves, washing your hands thoroughly, following precautions & doing the दूर से #Namaste to #CoronaVirus 🙏🏽 Here's today's song. Enjoy! Lemme know if you noticed my wink to social distancing in the song 😁 And let me know what you'd like me to sing next week 🎤🤗🎵 . #PyaarKiDastaan by the always awesome @shankar.mahadevan ji @ehsaan @loymendonsaofficial and penned by #JavedAkhtar sahab, sung by #MahalaxmiIyer & "dosti" #AmitPaul 🤗 With @konkona & @faroutakhtar in @zoieakhtar 's #LuckByChance @excelmovies #FarhanAkhtar #KonkonaSensharma #ShankarMahadevan #EhsaanNoorani #LoyMendonsa #ZoyaAkhtar #HrithikRoshan #ShankarEhsaanLoy
The singer further revealed that this isn't the first time when he has become prey of such discrimination as people has previously too tried and called him Chinese, Chinki and Nepali in the past. He said, "I feel that as a country, we are casually racist, be it on the basis of colour, caste, or ethnicity. Of late, my friends have been teasing me saying, ‘Chang se door raho’. Of course, I know that they don’t mean any harm and there’s no ulterior motive; it’s all in good fun. Trouble starts when random people do it with malicious intent. Just a few days ago, I had complimented a friend on Instagram, but a few guys who had nothing to do with me or her, called me ‘coronavirus’ in the comments section. I took a screenshot of those comments, blurred their names as I don’t believe in public shaming, and shared it on my page. Later, they apologised to me and I let it pass."
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"There were some devastating things that started 2020 with huge bushfires in Australia, conflicts in some parts of the world, people dying every day. Obviously, one person that I considered close in my life & was a mentor to me, Kobe Bryant, passed away as well with his daughter. I would just like to say that this is a reminder to all of us that we should stick together more than ever. Be with our families, stay close with the people that love you, that care about you. Of course we are part of a professional sport, we compete & we try our best but obviously there are more important things in life and it's important to be conscious & humble about things that are happening around you." #NovakDjokovic . 📸 : @rohitmalekar1
Chang is fine with people trying to maintain distance from him since everybody is being asked for social distancing. But he says, "being stared at for looking Chinese or people being wary of us in this situation is also understandable, but don’t call us names. That’s unfair."
Chang was born and brought up in India. He further said, "Three generations of my family were born in India. I was born in Dhanbad (Jharkhand). My ancestors were Chinese, and we have their genes. How can I hide that and why should I? I don’t mind the curiosity at all. When I was in boarding school, initially, I used to take offence when people asked me if I was Nepali, Chinese or Japanese. Over time, I realised that I look different. I have oriental features and people are just curious."