Hapa

May. 13th, 2007 09:37 am
asterroc: (doll)
[personal profile] asterroc
A new word - Hapa - is the Hawaiian slang that refers to people who are part Asian or Pacific Islander. This video article discusses some of what it's like. It's a really good article, I don't think I realized that my identity issues were common to lots of "mutts." Mentioned about how the 2000 US Census was the first one with the ability to check more than one box, and therefore NOT have to choose one half over the other, people's attempts to guess what I am, being able to "pass" on one side or the other and yet not fitting either...

The main interviewee Kip Fulbeck has a book out called Part Asian, 100% Hapa in which he shows photographs of part-Asian people and each wrote a statement on a slip of paper, in which they were to answer "What are you?" When people ask me that, I usually reply "American," and only once I've seen that it's sunk in do I go on to explain I'm half Chinese and half Jewish.

I still want a "part" ethnicity word that doesn't put the Asian ahead of the Caucasian, but this's definitely a step in the right direction. It used to strike me that words like Nuyorican or Cablinasian were unecessary, but now I feel it's important to affirm all parts of my heritage, so I do think they're needed.

ETA: And here's another CNN video about Hapas.

Date: 2007-05-13 02:28 pm (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
I think you linked to the wrong piece, unless you meant to link to something about a 14.5 pound newborn. *)

Date: 2007-05-13 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zandperl.livejournal.com
I have no clue how I fuxxored up that link so royally! :-P Thanks, it's fixed, and I added another one too.

Date: 2007-05-14 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calzephyr77.livejournal.com
That was a really neat video, thanks for linking to it. It's funny, you know, my dad is Greek (although that is a little loose considering that where he lived was a stopover for any seafaring folk). My mother is Polish, although her Dad's side of the family is Irish :-D I'm as pasty white as people come, yet my brother turned out pretty olive unlike any of us. Heh, if we didn't have Dad's eyes, one would probably think we weren't related!

Date: 2007-05-14 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zandperl.livejournal.com
People occasionally guess I'm half Asian. They're just as likely to (incorrectly) guess Italian or Native American Indian though. Guessing the Jewish half is less common, though if I had my Dad's nose it'd be inevitable. :-P

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