I am only Asian to non-Asians.

Karina
Irvine, CA

I live in an area that has many distinct Asian groups who are first generation Americans: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. My grandmother was first generation Filipino and my Grandfather and father are both Caucasian. That makes me part-Asian. But to my Asian friends who are first generation, they see me as White – or mixed at best. My Filipino friends acknowledge that I am Filipino. And my White friends see the Asian traits and consider me Asian. But the box for Filipinos is usually “Pacific Islander” – yet Japan (very close to the Philippines- much closer than Hawaii… ) chooses Asian. Very confusing. So, it is only to non-Asians am I seen as Asian.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

9 Responses to "I am only Asian to non-Asians."
  1. Trish says:

    My option is white, I’m Italian, French, Spanish, Viking, African, American Indian, and 1 Englishmen. I’m simply American. I like the variety It’s much more interesting than white.

  2. White Light says:

    Pacific islanders used to consider themselves Asian, as they wanted to be associated with the achievements of East Asians. Recently however, they have realized that they are not as intelligent as East Asians or Whites and so demand affirmative actions as a separate group.

    • MelissaG says:

      “They have realized that they are not as intelligent as East Asians or Whites …”

      On a website celebrating commonalities through diversity, it is shameful that you would say something so ignorant.

  3. Thankfully Informed says:

    Wow, thank you for posting this. I might have made the same mistake, and yet I consider myself passionate about multicultural sensitivity. Thank you for making me think more critically and work towards being more culturally inclusive.

  4. Kim Bailey says:

    Karina,
    I am Hmong. My husband Irish. My daughter is only seven. Sadly she is going though the same thing. All the Asians think she’s white, all of the none Asians think shes Asian. She came to me one day and asked “What am I?” To see such confusion in her eyes broke my heart. She was worried about her identity in this world. I told her the truth. I told her she is very special and she is both Irish and Hmong. She gets the unity of many cultures to combine as a unique one. If she needs a name she can tell her friends she’s Hmongish! She giggled and smiled but I still see that she’s worried about this… Strange that race and biases of our skins reaches even our little ones.

    • Tim says:

      In a country like America where there is a massive obsession with ‘race’ is there any wonder that it affects everyone?

    • Bert, Ontario Canada says:

      Well said Karina. I hope she doesn’t need to “deal” with this issue for very long and that nowadays kids in school can realize the beauty of diversity. What a lucky young lady to have such a unique background to learn about and share!

  5. A purist says:

    Okay honestly, people trying to identify with multiple “racial” groups simply because a great grandparent’s (You’ve likely never even met) race need to simply consider themselves a mut. Identify with one or none.

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