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Junior Mint
Member
(11-19-2014, 07:45 AM)
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Never noticed this community thread lol.

Chinese here. Born in Vancouver, now living in Toronto. Can barely speak Cantonese but I love Hong Kong.
CapNBritain
Member
(11-19-2014, 07:47 AM)
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32 Taiwanese-American male in SoCal, but I was raised in NorCal. I'm ridiculously white-washed and just referred to myself as Chinese, until I was "corrected" by Taiwanese people. Never made a difference to me.

Despite taking Chinese school for 11 years I can barely speak it now. Aside from the schooling, which was terrible and doesn't count for anything, I was never really immersed in my culture as a kid. In many cases I outright rejected it. For example, until recently I hated rice and eating at Chinese restaurants. Now that I'm in the valley, I make a 45 minute drive to East LA because, for some reason, good Chinese food doesn't want to be where I am.

I'm a programmer, but I swear, it was an accident. I was a huge fantasy nerd in high school and a friend taught me how to make web pages. So instead of dating I spent my nights making Dragonlance websites and being a huge ass nerd. When I applied to college just put Computer Science because I liked making web pages and didn't know what else to do. When I told my dad, he told me that's what he did, which I had previously not known. So at least I was rocking the distant Asian father stereotype.

I once brought home a Japanese girlfriend to meet my grandparents. I was later asked by my Chinese friends how it went, because apparently the Chinese and Japanese have a beef. My grandfather had actually fought in WW2 and my grandparents on my mother's side grew up in Taiwan under Japanese occupation. None of this crossed my mind though. I'm typically oblivious to this stuff because it never impacted me. I think of this as my version of white privilege.

I ended up with a Chinese girl, which I hadn't really planned it. It's almost a shame that we'll be churning out generic Chinese babies instead of awesome half-breeds (joking). She is Canto from SF though, so even though we're both "Chinese" we had totally opposite upbringings. As I said in the other thread, the Asian experience is incredibly varied and that's just among the Chinese, to say nothing of the differences between the other ethnicities under the Asian umbrella.

Edit:
White-washing/acting white was just a term people sued when I was growing up and it perfectly described the phenomenon. I guess looking at it now I can see how it's problematic. I still maintain that it isn't directly hurtful, while something like ABC kind of is.

Also, a friend recently related a random story to me. There's a gift exchange some do around Xmas called White Elephant, where basically everyone brings a gift, then you go around choosing a gift or stealing a gift someone has already chosen. Apparently my friend's white father-in-law invited him to play it with the family a few years back but called it by a name he had never heard of before. Apparently he called it "Chinese Christmas." My theory: 150 years ago a lone Chinaman crept into Texas and stole the presents under every Xmas tree in every house in the state with grinch-like precision. And thus, Chinese Christmas was born.
Esch
Banned
(11-19-2014, 08:05 AM)
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Don't really believe in the 'acting white' thing. You can't seriously expect to preserve all the culture your parents and community give you in an increasingly globalized and homogenized world. If you grow up in America you will be Americanized, there's no stopping this. Now of course you face the debacle ofhow much should I embrace the cultures, mannerisms and attitudes of my country versus those of my ethnic homeland(or maybe you dont idk)? I think that's up to the individual and I don't begrudge how someone chooses to present themselves based on that choice.

Just don't delude yourself into thinking you'll ever be 100% integrated and accepted, cause eventually you'll run into some hard ugly perceptions people will have about you based on your race.
Ochi
Junior Member
(11-19-2014, 09:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by backslashbunny


CAN I JUST SAY ONE THING RIGHT NOW AND RISK SOUNDING LIKE A SJW?

I ALWAYS see people saying "act white," and I absolutely do not like that term because it always seems to imply to me that somehow, "acting white" is better than not. Or whatever.

I'm sure you didn't mean to come off like that, y2dvd, so I'm not targeting you. I just mean, that general idea, when someone "acts white," that it's supposed to be a good thing.. like, oh, I don't act like <these other minorities>.

ionno. Maybe I'm looking way too into it, but what does it even mean to act white? :(.

Originally Posted by suzu

I kinda dislike the terms white-washed, acting white, etc. lol

Originally Posted by Esch

Don't really believe in the 'acting white' thing. You can't seriously expect to preserve all the culture your parents and community give you in an increasingly globalized and homogenized world. If you grow up in America you will be Americanized, there's no stopping this. Now of course you face the debacle ofhow much should I embrace the cultures, mannerisms and attitudes of my country versus those of my ethnic homeland(or maybe you dont idk)? I think that's up to the individual and I don't begrudge how someone chooses to present themselves based on that choice.

I think there's an inherent problem with the term "acting white" because it does two things:

It signifies that american culture (where this is primarily encountered, but brits and canadians have racial skeletons too) is composed and owned by white people, which I think is flawed.

The other thing, which stems from the first is that creates cultural/racial rift between the speakers. I have found that more often than not, when people say "acting white" it comes from within a community instead of from outside. I certainly won't deny anecdotes of outsiders commenting about expected cultural norms ie "I'm surprised you speak so well/you don't seem that asian..."

So when people say it hurts both ways, you're either not [insert ethnicity] enough for your community which makes you an outsider, or you have the risk of always being an outsider to people who are surprised you're like them.

Originally Posted by CapNBritain

Edit:
White-washing/acting white was just a term people sued when I was growing up and it perfectly described the phenomenon. I guess looking at it now I can see how it's problematic. I still maintain that it isn't directly hurtful, while something like ABC kind of is.

With regards to being called ABC, that ties back into what I mentioned earlier about what others said about "acting white"

Originally Posted by CapNBritain

I once brought home a Japanese girlfriend to meet my grandparents. I was later asked by my Chinese friends how it went, because apparently the Chinese and Japanese have a beef. My grandfather had actually fought in WW2 and my grandparents on my mother's side grew up in Taiwan under Japanese occupation. None of this crossed my mind though. I'm typically oblivious to this stuff because it never impacted me. I think of this as my version of white privilege.

It's an American/ post-immigrant privilege to live in a world that is almost ahistorical. US history classes have the fortune of only teaching US history (with varying degrees of accuracy) which is quite short, and as a military history, the US hasn't faced the horrors and atrocities of domestic war since the civil war, which was prior to the complete transformation of the country via the industrial revolution .

Not all Chinese and Japanese have historical beef with one another mostly because those are beefs that result from a national identity instead of an ethnic one.

I won't make an assumption, but there are many families (both Chinese and Japanese) whose lineage in the US predates WW2, and precludes their possible involvement. If your then girlfriend was among those then your family is being racist, and even if she wasn't they still were being racist. (Yes intra-group racism exists, racism is not a white person exclusive trait)

Originally Posted by CapNBritain

I ended up with a Chinese girl, which I hadn't really planned it. It's almost a shame that we'll be churning out generic Chinese babies instead of awesome half-breeds (joking). She is Canto from SF though, so even though we're both "Chinese" we had totally opposite upbringings. As I said in the other thread, the Asian experience is incredibly varied and that's just among the Chinese, to say nothing of the differences between the other ethnicities under the Asian umbrella.

As someone of blended ethnicity, I take the good with the bad, I have features that people consider unique I guess, but it results in occasionally having a sense of falling through the chasm of identities.



Originally Posted by Esch

Just don't delude yourself into thinking you'll ever be 100% integrated and accepted, cause eventually you'll run into some hard ugly perceptions people will have about you based on your race.

That last bit breaks my heart a little. I think it's cruel and cynical, but I also know that sometimes it's true.

I can only say that you should keep looking around to associate with people who aren't so quick to jump on race as a means of relating.


Incidentally if y'all want some good history and reading, try reading some of the books by Robert Takaki, he was a professor at UC Berkley who wrote a couple of excellent books on the ethnic tapestry of America.
Ochi
Junior Member
(11-19-2014, 09:30 AM)
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Incidentally, may as well give some info on myself:

Adult Male, bi-racial (Half Chinese for the curious)

And oddly enough I too am from and live in SF (as several others have also indicated being from here)
Crumpet Trumpet
Banned
(11-19-2014, 09:38 AM)
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Going to India next week-- first time since I was a kid. It'll be interesting to see if my "learn conversational Hindi by watching Zee TV sitcoms" strategy that I've been employing for the past year pays off in the real world.
YesNOnoNOYes
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:42 AM)
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I only have anecdata about the Chinese/ Japanese thing, but I can say that it is something that I have experienced because my dad side of the family harbour negative sentiment against my mom's side. My dad's Cantonese and there are times when things are rough that he holds mom's lineage against her.

I dont really like to speak about it, because in general they are very happy and they are still together, but it says something to me from a very young age that the slurs against Japan always come out when he's upset.

:<

I am glad to have migrated to Australia since I was 11 though. English is now my primary language though I still speak Japanese with mom when she comes to visit. But like a lot of Japanese people, they have this ... awe of everything western and she instead wants to practice her English, so ... :x :x :x

It's soooooooooooooo very nice to meet all of you, AsianGAF, btw.

Thank you for creating this thread, Cybit and bunbuns <3 And here's hoping we'll make new friendships here ^___^

Cheers~
JoeFu
Banned
(11-19-2014, 09:43 AM)
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I'm probably considered banana but I don't care. I can speak and understand mandarin, but can barely read it. Super lost when older folk start speaking Taiwanese to me though. Jeremy Lin has been giving ABC's a bad name with his awful Chinese. People are surprised at how well I speak it lol.
Septimus Prime
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:43 AM)
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Hello. I am Chinese (parents are ethnically Chinese, but their parents emigrated to Taiwan during the Communist Revolution. I still can't really say Taiwanese, though, due to all the tensions with the ethnic Taiwanese natives), born and raised in California. I'm really white-washed, though.

Also, I so wanted to make a racial joke about the Stormtrooper thing. Something about having bad aim due to limited peripheral vision. But that would be in bad taste.
JoeFu
Banned
(11-19-2014, 09:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Septimus Prime

Hello. I am Chinese (parents are ethnically Chinese, but their parents emigrated to Taiwan during the Communist Revolution. I still can't really say Taiwanese, though, due to all the tensions with the ethnic Taiwanese natives), born and raised in California. I'm really white-washed, though.


Yeah. Same exact thing here. Ethnically Chinese, parents born in Taiwan. I tend care more Taiwan than China though.

Also born in California. SoCal, Rowland Heights represent yo. Lived in Texas most of my life though.
Ochi
Junior Member
(11-19-2014, 09:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by CapNBritain

Also, a friend recently related a random story to me. There's a gift exchange some do around Xmas called White Elephant, where basically everyone brings a gift, then you go around choosing a gift or stealing a gift someone has already chosen. Apparently my friend's white father-in-law invited him to play it with the family a few years back but called it by a name he had never heard of before. Apparently he called it "Chinese Christmas." My theory: 150 years ago a lone Chinaman crept into Texas and stole the presents under every Xmas tree in every house in the state with grinch-like precision. And thus, Chinese Christmas was born.

I was a little baffled by this as I've never heard of white elephant exchanges as "chinese christmas" or chinese gift exchanges....

When I went googling around, this youtube video explains the supposed distinction, but not the origin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIcbfpUAN3I

And Wikipedia doesn't have an entry, though googling "chinese gift exchange" pulls white elephant's wikipedia entry anyways...

On thing of note in the wikipedia article however is the following anecdote without citation:

The term "white elephant" refers to an extravagant but burdensome gift which cannot be easily disposed of, supposedly after the King of Siam gifted rare albino elephants to courtiers who had displeased him, that they might be ruined by the animals' upkeep costs.

In theory, this could be a conflation of Siamese (Thailand) and Chinese culture, but it's simply not altogether clear to me. That said, other etymolgies seem to point to an antiquated racist view of the Chinese which people talk about

http://wordoriginsorg.yuku.com/topic...2#.VGxXQckR8tc

http://www.hometalkentertainment.com...d.php?t=212092

This second link expands on the Thai/Siamese origin but again lacks citation.

http://www.shanghaidiaries.com/archi...gift_exchange/

The last link is decent read as it talks about introducing a white elephant game to actual Chinese people.


TL;DR?

It's probably a racist name for that game.
Toki767
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by JoeFu

I'm probably considered banana but I don't care. I can speak and understand mandarin, but can barely read it. Super lost when older folk start speaking Taiwanese to me though. Jeremy Lin has been giving ABC's a bad name with his awful Chinese. People are surprised at how well I speak it lol.

I don't know that I even expect most Chinese-American people to be able to read it anymore. I always feel like as long as I can order food at a restaurant, ask for directions, and make small talk, I don't really care if I can't read anything. Chinese is such a hard language to learn to read anyway. Pinyin tries to make it a little easier I guess, but it's not nearly as helpful as learning Japanese or Korean.
arbok26
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:54 AM)
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Hello all, how are we defining asian here? I was born in Hong Kong, raised in Melbourne Australia and moved to the middle of nowhere with my wife to Malaysia this year.

The best thing about Malaysia are.... the Steam prices. :) $30-40 equivalent Australian dollars for most new games has prompted me to buy a PC sometime soon.

You can find my real name at my Twitter and my blog if you click on my name.

Also some useless trivia - I've never played Pokemon, I made the name up randomly at the dawn of the internets.
JoeFu
Banned
(11-19-2014, 09:58 AM)
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Originally Posted by Toki767

I don't know that I even expect most Chinese-American people to be able to read it anymore. I always feel like as long as I can order food at a restaurant, ask for directions, and make small talk, I don't really care if I can't read anything. Chinese is such a hard language to learn to read anyway. Pinyin tries to make it a little easier I guess, but it's not nearly as helpful as learning Japanese or Korean.


I can't read pinyin, but that's because I learned zhuyin as a child way back when I attended Chinese school. Never put in time or effort to learn pinyin.

I also dislike how simplified Chinese looks lol. The few Chinese characters I can read are all traditional.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 10:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by JoeFu

I can't read pinyin, but that's because I learned zhuyin as a child way back when I attended Chinese school. Never put in time or effort to learn pinyin.

I also dislike how simplified Chinese looks lol. The few Chinese characters I can read are all traditional.

I'm the same. I have no idea how to read simplified Chinese since I was taught the traditional way as a kid.
Ochi
Junior Member
(11-19-2014, 10:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by Toki767

I don't know that I even expect most Chinese-American people to be able to read it anymore. I always feel like as long as I can order food at a restaurant, ask for directions, and make small talk, I don't really care if I can't read anything. Chinese is such a hard language to learn to read anyway. Pinyin tries to make it a little easier I guess, but it's not nearly as helpful as learning Japanese or Korean.

whoa, did you just say the romanization system for korean is superior to pinyin?

I'm gonna have to politely disagree with you on that one, when I see the korean romanization system, it reminds me of an old romanization system called Wade-Giles for Chinese, which does really weird stuff with sounds and letter swapping IMO. That's why you sometimes still see Beijing referred to as Peking, because in Wade Giles P and G have "buh" and "juh" sounds despite the letters, and I've see the same shenanigans with the korean system.

Pinyin requires that you know how the vowels are supposed to be stressed, kind of like Romaji, only with intonation thrown on top
arbok26
Member
(11-19-2014, 10:23 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ties

I'm just happy that Asian Americans in general are finally speaking up after so many years of disenfranchisement. I'm not sure if I'm remembering the time correctly, but the entire #NotYourAsianSidekick thing really got my hopes up because we are finally becoming louder about the prejudice we face everyday. The affirmative action thread in general today really opened my eyes about how Asian Americans are expected to perform better than other races. Thanks again backslash.

Edit:

Also shouldn't this thread be in Off-Topic for a couple of weeks before getting moved to the Community section of the forum?

I'm not American, I lived in Australia most of my life, so I consider that somewhat similar. Even though for most of my life I was the minority race, I didn't think I was until maybe I was 25. So for most of my life I was pretty content where I was. I did have lots of white friends, though being popular at school was probably a bridge too far and at the time I probably had no idea about social status and race and things like that. I'm sure many asian families that have moved overseas have done it for their children and their children's children and to secure a better future. When I was younger I didn't realise basic needs and took things for granted and its probably only now that I've moved to a small town in Malaysia, that is effectively a developing country that I understand why my parents brought me out to Australia. Things like good education, running water (with actual pressure when you turn on the tap), clean drains and sewer systems that work, parks free of rubbish, clean air, there's so many things I took for granted back home in Australia.

Yep Asians are criminally under-represented in Australia, but compared to English Settlement (and Aborigines), we've only just arrived, to me we haven't earned our place at all. Look at African-Americans, they get better representation, but they've earned it through being better athletes, music artists. In time Asian people will too, but essentially I'm saying we are really just the first generation, maybe not even.

As an aside, it doesn't bother me the slightest that asian chicks seemingly prefer white men in anglo countries. Based on mainstream representation in the media, it would be a surprise if they didn't. Similarly asian chicks living in asian countries prefer asian guys (generally speaking, i don't have any stats). In the end, if anyone is really bothered, work on your personality, your social status and your ability to communicate naturally with others.
Toki767
Member
(11-19-2014, 10:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ochi

whoa, did you just say the romanization system for korean is superior to pinyin?

I'm gonna have to politely disagree with you on that one, when I see the korean romanization system, it reminds me of an old romanization system called Wade-Giles for Chinese, which does really weird stuff with sounds and letter swapping IMO. That's why you sometimes still see Beijing referred to as Peking, because in Wade Giles P and G have "buh" and "juh" sounds despite the letters, and I've see the same shenanigans with the korean system.

Pinyin requires that you know how the vowels are supposed to be stressed, kind of like Romaji, only with intonation thrown on top

Oh I didn't necessarily mean the romanization of Korean itself. I meant more the Hangul alphabet making it easier to learn to read Korean than Zhuyin or Pinyin with Chinese. That's just from my experience though.
JoeFu
Banned
(11-19-2014, 11:47 AM)
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I think zhuyin is fine. Sometimes ㄓㄔㄕ/ㄗㄘㄙ still mess me up though
Zoe
(11-19-2014, 01:56 PM)
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Re: white-washing

I use that term for myself because there's nearly a complete absence of any culture from my Filipino side. You would only know from my name (which many Filipinos have never heard of) and my skin (which most people get wrong anyway). I am way more similar in every way to my white mother.
CherryWoodFuton
Member
(11-19-2014, 02:44 PM)
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Representing Filipino (and Asian) Gaf here...

Born in Manila and raised in Miami so my culture is def South Florida/Hispanic. I feel pretty uncomfortable being in a place with a lot of Filipinos. My cousins from all over (mostly in Cali) say that I have a weird accent whenever I speak. I guess you can call it a Miami/Cuban accent. Hell I usually date Hispanic chicks instead of white/Asian chicks.
ActStriker
Member
(11-19-2014, 03:28 PM)
Chinese-American, born and raised in Boston, MA

My chinese isn't that great. Primarily speak a mix of Toisanese and Cantonese, but I'm not fluent. I know a little Mandarin, and can read a little bit. I know enough to get by in restaurants
Ultimate_Trainer
Member
(11-19-2014, 03:28 PM)
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I'm a half Vietnamese half Laotian guy who is working on his CS degree.

I'm out of touch of my parents culture due to them always being busy when I was a kid, but I'll post when I can.

i'm surprised that there aren't a lot of Viet people here since they make up the majority of the asians where I live.
Esch
Banned
(11-19-2014, 03:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by Crumpet Trumpet

Going to India next week-- first time since I was a kid. It'll be interesting to see if my "learn conversational Hindi by watching Zee TV sitcoms" strategy that I've been employing for the past year pays off in the real world.

Yes Crump! You'll actually find it works better than you thought it might... At least it did for me. Have a nice trip.


Originally Posted by Ochi

I
That last bit breaks my heart a little. I think it's cruel and cynical, but I also know that sometimes it's true.

I can only say that you should keep looking around to associate with people who aren't so quick to jump on race as a means of relating.

Meh, I know it sounds like i'm a fatalist, but that's just been my experience. I think part of it is that since I've lived in the midwest/midsouth my whole life, maybe I'm just exposed to a bit more prejudice than some of you west coast ppl? Of course I have white / non south asian friends, some of whom are the best friends I've ever had, but I've also been really disappointed by some people who I thought were beyond racial stuff. When I was younger I also tried to 'fit in' as much as possible with middling results.

Now I think the key is just to be comfortable with yourself and be kind to others. Not much else you can do.
y2dvd
Member
(11-19-2014, 04:21 PM)
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I never claim to be white washed myself. My friends tell me that. I just think I'm me lol. Sometimes I will concede and say I've been Americanized instead. I hang out with a diverse group of friends. Truth is you can find your click of asians. I suppose they are not used to me not hanging out with these clicks.

And white washed doesn't always have a positive connotation. Usually, the term is being thrown at me in a "nerdy white boy" jabbing way. We have a white friend who's much more into asian culture than myself. Our friends refer to him as "Asian Boi Eric" and me as "White Boi David". Maybe a little politically incorrect but it's an inside joke that we take lightheartedly.
CapNBritain
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(11-19-2014, 04:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ochi

I think there's an inherent problem with the term "acting white" because it does two things:

It signifies that american culture (where this is primarily encountered, but brits and canadians have racial skeletons too) is composed and owned by white people, which I think is flawed.

The other thing, which stems from the first is that creates cultural/racial rift between the speakers. I have found that more often than not, when people say "acting white" it comes from within a community instead of from outside. I certainly won't deny anecdotes of outsiders commenting about expected cultural norms ie "I'm surprised you speak so well/you don't seem that asian..."

So when people say it hurts both ways, you're either not [insert ethnicity] enough for your community which makes you an outsider, or you have the risk of always being an outsider to people who are surprised you're like them.



With regards to being called ABC, that ties back into what I mentioned earlier about what others said about "acting white"



It's an American/ post-immigrant privilege to live in a world that is almost ahistorical. US history classes have the fortune of only teaching US history (with varying degrees of accuracy) which is quite short, and as a military history, the US hasn't faced the horrors and atrocities of domestic war since the civil war, which was prior to the complete transformation of the country via the industrial revolution .

Not all Chinese and Japanese have historical beef with one another mostly because those are beefs that result from a national identity instead of an ethnic one.

I won't make an assumption, but there are many families (both Chinese and Japanese) whose lineage in the US predates WW2, and precludes their possible involvement. If your then girlfriend was among those then your family is being racist, and even if she wasn't they still were being racist. (Yes intra-group racism exists, racism is not a white person exclusive trait)

This is a pretty great response. I realize that whitewashing seems to be a problematic term upon examination as an adult, it's just that as a kid I didn't realize it and it's kind of stuck. I suppose Americanized is more fitting.

I also think that most users of the term are Asians who are distancing themselves from their culture. It's like a sort of bizarre declaration of personality. Now, taking pride in not being Asian could also be seen as problematic, but it really depends on the person saying it. When I was younger it was definitely a way to stand out among all the other Chinese people, who I (stupidly) thought were kind of weird. That was probably the subtle racism I experienced. But as an adult I use it as more of a descriptor. I actually appreciate a lot of my culture now. Although it's kind of from an outside perspective, if that makes any sense.

And yes, the whole US/post-immigrant privilege for certain Asian people is real. It's good on a personal level because I've never experienced outright racism or anything that I haven't had the luxury of laughing off. But I know that many people aren't that lucky.

Originally Posted by JoeFu

Yeah. Same exact thing here. Ethnically Chinese, parents born in Taiwan. I tend care more Taiwan than China though.

Also born in California. SoCal, Rowland Heights represent yo. Lived in Texas most of my life though.

Same here, ethnically Chinese but parents from Taiwan. Care about neither, though I would love to visit both for food tasting reasons. Since you lived in Texas for most of your life, have you heard of Chinese Christmas? You're the reason they call it that aren't you?

Originally Posted by Ochi

I was a little baffled by this as I've never heard of white elephant exchanges as "chinese christmas" or chinese gift exchanges....

...

TL;DR?

It's probably a racist name for that game.

I think that it's my (post-immigrant)-privilege that allows me to find this hilarious instead of being angered.

Originally Posted by Toki767

I'm the same. I have no idea how to read simplified Chinese since I was taught the traditional way as a kid.

Pinyin is crazy gobbledegook to me after 11 years of traditional, despite the fact that I don't remember the traditional and that pinyin uses the English alphabet and should be easier to pick up.

Originally Posted by Zoe

Re: white-washing

I use that term for myself because there's nearly a complete absence of any culture from my Filipino side. You would only know from my name (which many Filipinos have never heard of) and my skin (which most people get wrong anyway). I am way more similar in every way to my white mother.

Same here. Also, I feel you on the name/skin thing. My last name is unique even among the Chinese. I used to hate the first days of school because teachers would always try to be nice and attempt to pronounce my last name, before straight up putting on the spot to tell everyone how to pronounce it. It's my first day! I'm not ready to stand up in front of the entire class and say things!

Funny story: sometime in my early years I must've gotten fed up and just started using an Americanized way of saying my last name. So at American school, I used that pronunciation. At Chinese school, I still used my full Chinese name. But somehow I either forget or just never knew that they were basically connected as I had an American first name.

In 8th grade my Spanish teacher did the whole first day how do you pronounce your last name thing, I was so tired of it that I told her I didn't know how. She was horrified at this and sent me to the principal's office to call my dad and ask how to pronounce it. I regretted not just telling her. I was sure that the Americanized version was correct but whatever, I called my dad. He repeated the first half of my Chinese name, which confused me. It was at that point that I realized (or re-remembered) that the beginning of my Chinese name was my last name (both in English and Chinese).

Also, despite being 100% Han to my knowledge), I look Thai/Filipino/Korean. Very rarely are non-Chinese people able to tell my ethnicity.
JoeFu
Banned
(11-19-2014, 04:58 PM)
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I have no idea what a Chinese Christmas is...

Oh I should read the thread lol.


I have never participated in a white elephant and had no idea it has been called that



Oh yeah on the topic of last names. Mine was always a "joke" and was pretty annoying. I'm sure you can guess what it is based on my handle.

My football coach in middle school used to take me to other teachers and asked me to spell my last name for them. Was a nice way to get out of class, but seriously it was messed up lol. Also almost got detention because the principal heard me spell my last name hahahaha.


Another thibg is that I've been known by my last name for so long that people have asked me what my last name was.
Tence
(11-19-2014, 05:32 PM)
My wife is Chinese-Indonesian and I speak Indonesian...

I like Asian food, but haven't eaten weirder than snake and cow lungs....


can I post here?
Szu
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(11-19-2014, 06:10 PM)
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Ok, time to chime in.

I'm was born in Shanghai. I came to the States when I was about 5.

I pretty much pass for an ABC. I speak mainly Cantonese, but I can understand Mandarin, Shanghainese, and Taishanese. I'm actually half-Taishan.

I started studying electrical engineering, but eventually graduated with a BS in Tech Writing & Journalism.

I'm currently working in IT for the govt.

Hobbies include (sigh) video games and martial arts.
suzu
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(11-19-2014, 07:22 PM)
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Yeah, you've basically summed up why I dislike those phrases. People can refer to themselves as whatever, but it bugs me if I'm told that I'm acting or sound white. I'm sure other minorities can relate too. lol
Luis_23
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(11-19-2014, 07:25 PM)
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My name is Luis, I'm half Korean and half Mexican. I mostly ate Korean food since my Mom likes to cook and to make sure I eat "all natural" healthy stuff. I definitely appreciated it and everything always tasted so good.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 07:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Luis_23

My name is Luis, I'm half Korean and half Mexican. I mostly ate Korean food since my Mom likes to cook and to make sure I eat "all natural" healthy stuff. I definitely appreciated it and everything always tasted so good.

There used to be this Korean tacqueria in my city that put stuff like bulgogi in a burrito. So goooood.
CapNBritain
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(11-19-2014, 08:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by backslashbunny

Yeah I know what you mean.. this is something my parents and the older gen have always told me. "Justina, you'll never be American. They will always look at you and see an Asian face."

I don't think it's necessarily untrue that I'll always look Asian, but I want to make that idea of Asian == foreigner disappear. The problem, mostly, with this, is that people still relate being "white" to being "American," and that's what bugs me so much. I'm American, AND Asian. Being American is not about being white!

Wow, I've heard you talk about how your parents' racism before but it's always very strange to me. I think living in California and being lucky in general has really sheltered me from the kind of Asian == foreigner thinking many seem to describe. And yes, acting American == acting white to many people. I acting like the term acting American, or maybe, acting aculturally (like asexually)?

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I think the distinction happens in two ways.
1. Either your friends are hardcore Green Party loyalists, and so are really big on the TAIWAN IS NOT CHINA, or
2. They are trying to make the distinction that your family is from Taiwan and not China (recently)

I mean, I usually make the distinction that my parents are from Taiwan, but only because the kind of Mandarin they speak is a little different than mainland. Other that than that, my family is apparently very Blue. /shrug

No, I have a lot of friends that are not Chinese and thus don't really know/care about the differences. My few Chinese friends also like me in that they are super-Americanized. I guess I just grew up with people that didn't talk about or care to notice the differences.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny


I love your theory.

& then the Chinamen sailed back to China and had the factories there duplicate all the toys... for half the price!

In every Xmas party I go to this year I will announce that I will be enacting "Chinese Christmas" and proceed to steal all of the presents.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny


Like I said earlier, the reason why I really dislike the term "acting white," "white-washed," etc, is mostly that it seems like what is being said is a person is very Americanized... and I absolutely hate the notion that white == American.

It could also be a cultural reference, but still. I'm culturally American. Maybe not midwestern or southern, and maybe a very unique sort of American (given that I grew up in such a diverse environment), but the idea what white = American is just bad, for everyone. It's bad for Asians, for Hispanics, and for blacks.

Also, hello everyone that posted! I didn't get a chance to quote and greet y'all by name, but I've been reading all the posts.

AND YES ALL OF YOU BELONG.

I was thinking more about acting white and came to the conclusion that it's actually a way to say "not acting asian." At least for me. When I was a kid, there were groups of asians that pretty much kept to themselves. They only had friends that were their ethnicity. They only spoke in their native tongue. They brought ethnic foods for lunch instead of buying cafeteria food or American lunches.

To me, this was odd, because I didn't like speaking Chinese, didn't like Chinese food, and was friends with everyone. So I didn't act like them and considered myself white-washed, since I didn't belong to their group. Like you said, acting American is probably a better way to put it.

To this day I do notice that there are still groups of Asians that stick to their own closed off social groups and kind of do "Asian" things together all the time. It makes me a bit uncomfortable because I don't really belong, but I try not to look down on them as my younger self would have. It's a strange problem, being uncomfortable around groups of members of your own race.
jasonng
Member
(11-19-2014, 08:14 PM)
Hey guys Im not Asian but I hope I'm still welcomed here. I've always love Japanese culture and I have an extensive collection of kung fu movies. My favorite food is sushi and kimchi! Is anyone here into anime? Asian women are so hawt. ^^;
Esch
Banned
(11-19-2014, 08:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by jasonng

Hey guys Im not Asian but I hope I'm still welcomed here. I've always love Japanese culture and I have an extensive collection of kung fu movies. My favorite food is sushi and kimchi! Is anyone here into anime? Asian women are so hawt. ^^;

Lmao

You are asian though, I can tell.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 08:27 PM)
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Originally Posted by Esch

Lmao

You are asian though, I can tell.

That Ng in his name is just to throw us off.
Lesath
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(11-19-2014, 08:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by CapNBritain

To this day I do notice that there are still groups of Asians that stick to their own closed off social groups and kind of do "Asian" things together all the time. It makes me a bit uncomfortable because I don't really belong, but I try not to look down on them as my younger self would have. It's a strange problem, being uncomfortable around groups of members of your own race.

I like to think that we have the luxury to choose which aspects of each culture we would like to adapt. A lot of Americans find the sort of devotion I have to my family somewhat strange, and likewise, a lot of Asians find my uncompromising criticism towards their cultural norms and my directness uncomfortable.

Also, anyone else find it sort of funny how we get along better than actual Asians do?
Duress
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(11-19-2014, 08:42 PM)
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So do all of you guys have big families? My mother's side, had two brothers and a sister. My father was an only child. We're fairly close family. I guess that goes without saying, with them immigrating.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 08:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by Duress

So do all of you guys have big families? My mother's side, had two brothers and a sister. My father was an only child. We're fairly close family. I guess that goes without saying, with them immigrating.

Both my father and mother have 5 siblings each, so I have like 30+ cousins by my last count. Not even sure how many nephews/nieces I have anymore. Cousin's children are considered nephew/niece right? At least I think they are in Asian culture. I think the Western way is like second cousin or whatever.
Josh with a J
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(11-19-2014, 09:03 PM)
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Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I ONLY SERVE THE TRUE WARCHIEF OF THE HORDE.

You need to crossover
CapNBritain
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(11-19-2014, 09:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lesath

I like to think that we have the luxury to choose which aspects of each culture we would like to adapt. A lot of Americans find the sort of devotion I have to my family somewhat strange, and likewise, a lot of Asians find my uncompromising criticism towards their cultural norms and my directness uncomfortable.

Also, anyone else find it sort of funny how we get along better than actual Asians do?

It is a pretty fantastic luxury to be able to build our own culture instead of being beholden to a single one. Funnily enough, same goes for me not being religious. I've heard horror stories of people marrying into Catholic families (both Asian and non-Asian).

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I grew up in Irvine, with a majority of Asians, and I didn't have any nonAsian friends until college, so I never thought I was a foreigner until I got older and interacted with nonAsians.

I mean, sure, there were always small things that happened, "Asians eat dogs," or "eww chicken feet are gross," or even the persistent notion that Asians did better in school... but none of that actually made me feel like I was different until after I left the bubble.

In college I met a girl from Boston who had never been around Asians. She assumed all Asians spoke Oriental. I convinced her that all the Asians on the floor went out every midnight to practice kung-fu on the roof. To be fair, the fortune cookie boxers (a gag gift!) and katana (Highlander sword, so technically not Asian or only Asian in a roundabout way!) I was holding probably sold the lie.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

What does it mean to act white ._.? I used to think that "acting white" meant you did poorly in school and were disrespectful to your parents... and then I realized how racist that idea was. Even in the best ways, using it to describe generalizations like "I'm a bad Asian, I majored in English," perpetuates generalizations that can be harmful because they contribute to a larger, more sinister notion, even if they're not meant to be so individually (I think of #shirtgate for this).

I agree that using the term to describe not matching a standard is harmful. In my case, it was used to not associate with something I didn't like, which is also harmful. Still, I think the way I use it now is pretty harmless, although Americanized is probably better. Though in your case, that could also be an insult.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I'm not saying that you should care about the difference.. just giving you a history and an explanation of maybe why some Taiwanese people might have corrected you, versus your Chinese friends that might not have said anything (also, culturally, Chinese people tend to consider Taiwanese-Chinese to be just Chinese).

Oddly enough, my parents are the ones that told me, it doesn't matter if you're Chinese or Taiwanese, you're in America and not in Taiwan so those politics don't matter. I have a feeling that they were only telling me this because they didn't want me to get involved in Taiwanese politics the way a lot of Taiwan families in the US still are. My mom and dad are very anti-Asia politics, and generally very apolitical.

Oh yeah, I know now that a lot of people care deeply about this sort of thing. I'm just not one of them and neither is anyone I'm close with. My parents are also very apolitical as far as I know. I actually don't talk to them about anything serious so who knows, maybe they really do care!

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

Yeah, there are groups of Asians that either are direct immigrants and gravitate towards others that speak their language/share their customs (think expat groups in foreign countries).. there are also groups of Asians that may have been born here but are much more familiar with their parents' cultures.

My immediate friend group is Asian, though we gave up on using Chinese a long time ago, with some exceptions of phrases. We're all Asian-Americans, and I guess we do Asian things like get boba and have potlucks/BBQs/dinners, but I'm not really sure if that's what you mean by doing "Asian" things.

I think, within even Asians in America/out of country, there are a lot of different stages of assimilation and/or cultural tradition.

Funnily enough, my cousins in Minnesota remind me a lot of you, as well as my ex-bf from college (Chinese Canadian). Large groups of Asians made them really uncomfortable. It was hilarious to me, until I went to Texas and started to become conscious of the fact that I was the only Asian face in the entire room! No one singled me out or did anything to make me feel unsafe or unwelcome... but once you're conscious of it.. it's just kinda hard to turn off.

Yeah I understand why certain groups would feel more comfortable with members of their own ethnicity. I used to think that was weird and kind of look down on that kind of behavior, but have gotten better about it with age. It's really just groups of Chinese people that are super Chinese (FOBs) that make me nervous. I think it's because they make me acutely aware of how not Chinese I act, if that makes any sense. Like I presume that they judge me for that.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I guess it's just the natural reaction to groups of people that look different than what you're used to (which would also, interestingly enough, explain why Asian FOBS tend to hang out with other Asian FOBS).

FOBs (Fresh Off Boat) are another strange phenomenon that I think is worth discussing. Funnily enough, I've only heard the term apply to Chinese/Taiwanese people by other Chinese/Taiwanese people. And it's changed a bit since when I was a kid. I used to be that FOBS were poor immigrants that stuck to themselves, which is pretty messed up.

Now it's the rich ones that dress super fancy and always drink boba (guilty of this). Or maybe that's because I'm now an adult and that's the kind of FOB I meet.
jasonng
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:15 PM)

Originally Posted by Esch

Lmao

You are asian though, I can tell.

Can you though?

My ethnicity gets mistaken A LOT even from other Asians. I've been told I looked Korean a lot. I've heard Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, even was told I must be mixed and half white because there's no way I'm full Asian. I guess I have an ambiguous Asian look? I'm just Chinese.


Edit: I should probably say an ambiguous East Asian look.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 09:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by CapNBritain

FOBs (Fresh Off Boat) are another strange phenomenon that I think is worth discussing. Funnily enough, I've only heard the term apply to Chinese/Taiwanese people by other Chinese/Taiwanese people. And it's changed a bit since when I was a kid. I used to be that FOBS were poor immigrants that stuck to themselves, which is pretty messed up.

Now it's the rich ones that dress super fancy and always drink boba (guilty of this). Or maybe that's because I'm now an adult and that's the kind of FOB I meet.

Now that you mention it, I actually haven't heard the term applied by anyone that wasn't Chinese. I'm fairly sure the term is used for Asians in general though I never hear non-Chinese Asian people use it.
CapNBritain
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(11-19-2014, 09:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by Toki767

Both my father and mother have 5 siblings each, so I have like 30+ cousins by my last count. Not even sure how many nephews/nieces I have anymore. Cousin's children are considered nephew/niece right? At least I think they are in Asian culture. I think the Western way is like second cousin or whatever.

I am the only son of the only son of the only son. Small ass family. Even though I'm not a fan of my last name I can't change it without shaming my ancestors though, because I'm all that's left. Are Asians traditionally know for having large families? I guess it depends on the type of Asian...

Originally Posted by jasonng

Can you though?

My ethnicity gets mistaken A LOT even from other Asians. I've been told I looked Korean a lot. I've heard Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, even was told I must be mixed and half white because there's no way I'm full Asian. I guess I have an ambiguous Asian look? I'm just Chinese.

High five for ambiguous Asian despite full Chinese.
Esch
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(11-19-2014, 09:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by jasonng

Can you though?

My ethnicity gets mistaken A LOT even from other Asians. I've been told I looked Korean a lot. I've heard Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, even was told I must be mixed and half white because there's no way I'm full Asian. I guess I have an ambiguous Asian look? I'm just Chinese..

Well I have no idea what you look like but yeah, the sarcasm, the username, etc.
Zoe
(11-19-2014, 09:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by Toki767

Now that you mention it, I actually haven't heard the term applied by anyone that wasn't Chinese. I'm fairly sure the term is used for Asians in general though I never hear non-Chinese Asian people use it.

Are the groups prominent in your area? There are tons of Vietnamese here, so I have heard the term used on them.

Then again, one of the Vietnamese guys I know literally did come off the boat when he was a child.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 09:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zoe

Are the groups prominent in your area? There are tons of Vietnamese here, so I have heard the term used on them.

Then again, one of the Vietnamese guys I know literally did come off the boat when he was a child.

I'm in San Francisco, so maybe other groups aren't super prominent. It doesn't help that most of the Vietnamese people here are half Chinese so I'm not sure that counts.
ActStriker
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(11-19-2014, 09:28 PM)

Originally Posted by CapNBritain

High five for ambiguous Asian despite full Chinese.

It's always interesting to go to a Korean or Japanese business and they start speaking in Korean/Japanese to you, and you look at them dumbfounded for a bit.

Originally Posted by backslashbunny

I think "fob" is just easier to say than "immigrant." Same with ABC.. it's just convenient.

That being said, I doubt anyone has come over on a boat. Now that's just stuff we ship over from Asia (I would know, I used to work in that field. GODDAMN BOATS ALWAYS MAKING MY ORDERS LATE.)

Not sure if "fob" is a bad thing anymore. At least, over here, it's not if used when describing an immigrant-- fob also specifies that it's an Asian immigrant, though I suppose that could be bad?

I don't know. Do y'all think it's not a good word to be using anymore?

It kind of depends. if it's an Asian saying it about another Asian, then people would get it. Go outside the bubble and I think you see where people can get their feathers rustled.
Toki767
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(11-19-2014, 09:29 PM)
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Originally Posted by ActStriker

It's always interesting to go to a Korean or Japanese business and they start speaking in Korean/Japanese to you, and you look at them dumbfounded for a bit.

To be fair, I go to Chinese restaurants and the same thing happens there since the majority here speak Cantonese and not Mandarin. :P
ActStriker
Member
(11-19-2014, 09:30 PM)

Originally Posted by Toki767

To be fair, I go to Chinese restaurants and the same thing happens there since the majority here speak Cantonese and not Mandarin. :P

But at least you can talk in Mandarin and odds are they can understand you

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