Women mocking Chinese tourists sparks discussion about racism in Italy (VIDEOS)
A TikTok showing Italian women mocking Chinese American tourists has gone viral and sparked discussions about racism in Italy.
Mahnoor Euceph was on a train from Lake Como to Milan on April 16 with her boyfriend, who’s half-Chinese, his Chinese mom, and his white dad.
In an unfortunate turn of events, a group of three women started mocking her boyfriend and his mom. She caught the unpleasant incident on camera and shared it on TikTok.
In the caption, Euceph, a Pakistani film director, said that she noticed them staring her down and laughing while making remarks in Italian.
She made her boyfriend aware of it, took a nap, but woke up to the group doing the same thing “more aggressively.”
“I asked them, ‘Is there a problem?’ They said, ‘No there isn’t a problem.’ At that point they started saying ‘Ni hao!’ in an obnoxious, racist, loud voice, along with other things in Italian I couldn’t understand,” she recounted.
She says they continued to get more aggressive, so she started filming them. The group continued mocking her boyfriend and his mom, though in a more subdued way, according to Euceph.
In the video below, you can still hear them say “Ni hao” while laughing and staring at the travellers.
“Never in my life have I experienced such blatant racism. My boyfriend said the same thing. I expected better from the younger generation,” Euceph wrote in the caption. “It’s so dehumanizing to experience this.”
@mahnooreu I was on the train from Lake Como to Milan on April 16th with my half Chinese boyfriend, his Chinese mom, and his white dad. I am Pakistani. We are all American. I noticed these girls sitting across from us staring me down and laughing and speaking Italian. At first, I ignored it. Then I stared back at them. They didn’t stop so I made my bf aware, then took a nap. I woke up from the nap to them doing the same thing but more aggressively. I asked them, “Is there a problem?” They said, “No there isn’t a problem.” At that point they started saying “Ni hao!” in an obnoxious, racist, loud voice, along with other things in Italian I couldn’t understand. They continued getting more and more aggressive, laughing at and mocking us. Eventually, I started filming them. They were the most calm during the video but you can still hear them saying ni hao and get a vibe of their general attitude. Never in my life have I experienced such blatant racism. My boyfriend said the same thing. I expected better from the younger generation. After I shared this on IG, many of my Asian friends shared their stories of experiencing racism in Italy and Europe. America may have its race issues, but Europe is 20 years behind. I hope you Italians can find these girls and shame them. It was truly disgusting behavior and I hope they learn a lesson from this. It is so dehumanizing to experience this. #racism #stopaapihate #Italy #Milan #LakeComo #racistItalians #racistcheck #racistoftheday #racistshit #milandesignweek2023 #milandesignweek #Chinese #hapa #wasian #racismawareness #racismneedstostop #racismsucks ♬ original sound – Mahnoor Euceph
The film director says that after she shared the video on Instagram, many of her Asian friends opened up about their experiences with racism in Italy and Europe in general.
The original TikTok, which now has over 19 million views, was shared widely across social media platforms, and others chimed in on the conversation.
“This was very much my first experience there back in 2011 with people saying nihao / doing the slanty eyes,” tweeted one person.
just saw this tiktok of italians harassing an asian guy and his mom in public. this was very much my first experience there back in 2011 with people saying nihao / doing the slanty eyes. its not just dolce and gabbana yall its their peasants too pic.twitter.com/Z9kj1mYKQs
— dan q. dao (@danqdao) April 26, 2023
“Italy is the most racist European country by far and personal experience supports that heavily,” added another.
italy is the most racist european country by far and personal experience supports that heavily https://t.co/c26UwUrFpN
— bella !¡ 🌈 (@waysofisak) April 27, 2023
One TikToker who was born in Italy shared the microaggressions they faced as a half-Italian half-Black kid growing up in Rome.
@anais_speaks I’m so sorry to anyone who had a horrible experience ☹️ #rome #italy #storytime #blackinitaly #blacktravel ♬ original sound – Anaïs
The disturbing stories that have come from tourists visiting Italy have deterred many from visiting the country.
Why I decided years ago not to go on holidays in Italy anymore. I love the food and the culture but I’m not risking a racist encounter (that I know will happen) while spending my money there. I can travel there for work, but not for pleasure. https://t.co/OHqKqtn2x8
— @PAM_BOY (@pam_boy) April 27, 2023
@lmfaomal I bit myself from chewing my gum so hard but it was necessary 🤪 Yall lmk some of the most welcoming places you have been to as black people in non black spaces and ill add em to my list 🏾🌍 #fypシ #travelingwhileblack #xyzabc ♬ original sound – lmfaomal
Euceph shared an update to her story on Wednesday after followers found the women’s Instagram handles. One of the students messaged what Euceph says was a “completely insincere apology” that instead came off as trying to “manipulate and gaslight” her.
@mahnooreu Replying to @asocialclimber #greenscreen #stopaapihate #racistItaliangirls #racism #Chinese #pakistani #racismawareness ♬ original sound – Mahnoor Euceph
Internet sleuths were also able to find what universities the group attended, prompting a response from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, IULM University and The University of Milano-Bicocca.
Incidents like these aren’t unique to Europe. Most recently, a fight over a window seat on a Canadian Flair airline flight led to racism allegations.