3.16.2013

Borrowed Post: "The Awkwardness of Creating an Asian Identity"

Asian Hip Hop Times has been on a roll lately.  I don't know much about the blogger except that they're a boss.  Peep this recent entry:
There are many Asian blogs, Asian forums and Asian Youtubers online nowadays trying to represent Asians as a whole.

These Asians try to speak for all Asians and most of the time they all fail miserably and fall flat on their face. Whenever I read the stuff they write about and hear the things they say in their videos about Asians as a whole, I'm thinking.....really? Are you serious?

Whenever an English-speaking Asian (usually a Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese) in North America tries to speak for Asians as a whole, most of the time what he or she actually means by "Asian" is East Asians.

East Asians are part of a cultural sphere that makes it easy to group them together, even with all the diversity among them. That's because East Asians all share a culture that has been largely shaped by Confucianism and Buddhism. They all celebrate the same holidays (Chinese new year for example), they share similar foods, similar social structure, and have similar values etc. Not to mention that most East Asians look quite similar.

Yes, together East Asians are collectively known as Asians, but let's make this clear: East Asians are NOT the end-all, be-all for what is Asian.

Some good examples to illustrate what I am trying to say are as follows:

"Asians are yellow [skinned]". Really? You never saw tanned, brown skinned or black skinned Asian before?

"We Asians eat with chopsticks". Really? What about the Filipinos who eat with forks and spoons? What about the Indians who eat rice with their hands?

You get my drift?

And to top it off - and this REALLY takes the icing on the cake - many of these pro-Asian agenda people who try to fight against racism and ignorance of Asians are, by and large, pretty ignorant themselves about other Asian peoples who are from different cultural spheres. Ironic, isn't it?

Don't act like I'm making this shit up because I'm not. I wish I was making this shit up.

5 comments:

  1. This is a bit related to this, but the guy I am interested in now is Filipino. He knew I was interested/open to dating Asians, yet he assumed that he might not be "Asian enough" for me because he doesn't look like how some Japanese, Chinese, or Korean men might look. I guess because many people (including other Asians) do have a certain kind of look in mind when someone says "Asian." It is interesting to know where we get these what some may call "default" images in our minds.

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    1. Lord bless his heart.

      Judging by the words of others , I can understand why this guy may feel this way. Instead of some people wondering will like them for them, they worry about physical appearances..like Asian men liking natural or straightened hair or will Black women.. like in your dates case...think they look Asian enough to date .

      He is who he is but he should love who he is. He is wonderfully and uniquely made made no matter how less or more Asian he appears. He's Filipino and they have diverse phenotypes.They can look Asian, Latino, Indian...etc. I wouldn't expect for him to look Japanese, I don't expect the Japanese to look like Indians, Indians to look like Thais or Thais to look like Koreans. I know that you're not dependent on his looks but he's Filipino. He shouldn't wish to look like nobody but himself.

      PS.I too call myself "M",but I put a one by my name in case someone may become thrown off about it. Far as myself,I'm not dating anyone though in my case I may be dealing with a Cuban guy (not dating him,but just talking with him for the time being)

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  2. Asians can be creep ass asiaphiles too, lol. And Asian just defines India to the Philippines, and Indonesia to Mongolia. I think that's it... And add Islam to the cultural beliefs list. A good number of us are Muslim. The stereotyped East Asian appearance is just however they were first popularly represented by America (or anywhere else, I can only speak for here) when America decided to define us due to the perceived threat we posed to white order. Or that's how I see it.

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  3. I think the problem with North American Asians is the fact that "Asian" equals East Asia in America, "Southeast Asian" equals the Philippines, Indonesia, ect. and "Indian" equals Indian, Pakistani, ect. Which is a shame considering that in real English (England-English) Asians are in one group. So I think it's American thought that's causing this. There seems to be a need in America to classify everything and splice groups into never ending "factions" (they take a group of people who clearly belong in a larger group and say that they are separate because of this, that, or the other). It's pretty sad. :/

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    Replies
    1. Yes...divide and conquer, divide and conquer.

      Delete

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