In my lifetime, I’ve been called a “Chink” more than a “Jap.” Of course this doesn’t stop people on YouTube from calling me a “Jap.”
To be fair, this was in response to my movie “Chink” and I did want to touch a nerve with people. Based on this person’s reaction, I guess it worked.
I remember the first time I was called a “Chink.” My first reaction was that I wasn’t Chinese/Chinese American. The least they could do was to call me a “Jap.” But that never quite felt right. After all, they weren’t calling me “Chink” to compliment me and they definitely weren’t trying to be ethnically correct.
I decided to do some research (“some” being the operative word here) on the word “Chink.” And according to the Wikipedia, it means:
Chink (also chinki, chinky, chinkie) is an English ethnic slur usually referring to a person of Chinese ethnicity.
The origin of the word seems to be in some dispute:
Get the day's stories from 8Asians.com, delivered to your inbox every evening.
By Nithin Coca
Let me start my first article on a lighter note–an anecdote from my freshman year of college, more than 10 years ago. I was at the In-N-Out across the street from the dorms sitting on a bar stool along with two Asian-Americans dormmates I had just met. We sat facing the window, with a clear panoramic view of the campus. It was orientation week at UC-Irvine, so school hadn’t yet started, but I was excited. Finally, after six years living in the Midwest, I was in California and, happily, already making friends.
A short Asian girl with an oversize backpack passed our view. “She definitely Chinese,” said the guy sitting next to me.
I looked at her, perplexed. Did they mean ethnically? After all, this was UCI, and though it was majority Asian, it was also 98% Californian. There were very few international students here. And how could they tell her nationality just by looking at her?
“That one, definitely Korean,” said the other guy, pointing at a tall guy in glasses. Was this some sort of game Californians played? Guess-the-ethnicity? Was it a skill?
“Filipino for sure!”
Across the street, I saw two Caucasians males walking toward the In-N-Out. I could play this game too.
“Over there, that guy is definitely German, and the other, Irish,” I said, barely able to not giggle. I turned to them, expecting laughter.
Instead, two faces stared at me with a mix of perplexion and pity, clearly saying – are you mentally troubled?
Hurt, and not sure how to respond, I quietly went back to my burger.
As you know, the month of May is American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and thus it’s no surprise that the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have joined up to not only celebrate but also educate how to cook traditional AAPI dishes in a healthy yet also tasty way:
“To promote healthy eating among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, White House Executive [Filipino American] Chef Cristeta Comerford and Chef Ming Tsai have teamed up to film a cooking demonstration in the White House kitchen featuring healthy and traditional Asian recipes that follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate food icon. … MyPlate serves as a powerful visual cue to remind all of us to choose healthier foods among the five food groups and build healthier plates at mealtimes. It points consumers to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website where consumers can put the Dietary Guidelines into action. … “There’s no reason to have to sacrifice the foods we love in order to eat a healthy diet,” Comerford said. Chef Ming Tsai agreed, “The key here is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor, sacrifice culture, to make food that is still actually good for you.”"
In general, I think a lot of Chinese food that I eat isn’t necessarily all that healthy – since I like to eat a lot of meat and anything stir fried, etc. But it’s good to see that traditional dishes like fried rice can be cooked more healthily too!
Get to know the writers who make 8Asians possible! Joz started the “Meet the 8Asians” series a while back when she introduced our then resident heartthrob Brian. Now meet some of our new writers on staff, such as Nithin, an old soul traveler at heart.
Nithin represents many firsts for 8Asians, and I will leave it up to you to figure out what those are. His writing style conveys a social consciousness and wisdom for the world that is well beyond his years. Be sure to read articles by Nithin published in Jakarta Expat. He writes with precision and acuity about environmental issues that impact Indonesia and boasts an impressive portfolio of writings on travel, food, culture, social and political issues that not only impact the Asian or Asian American community, but the physical landscape and environment of Asia as well.
A genuine peripatetic, Nithin has traveled extensively: 44 states in the U.S. and 44 countries around the world. He has been an activist with the Sierra Club and other grassroots organizations and a mentor on social media for advocacy and citizen journalism. Since finishing his masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, he’s traveled across Asia and Africa and focused on building his freelance writing career.
Nithin was first introduced to 8Asians by his friend, another one of our fellow writers, Johnny C, and was impressed by the quality of writing and the active, engaging community. He felt that with his unique perspective, he could add to the debate and bring up some interesting points about Asian-American culture, while also learning from all of us here and our own experiences.
Some personal predictions? We’ll probably see provocative and meditative articles from Nithin about culture or the idea of culture, especially on the experience of being raised apart from one’s cultural homeland and what “cultural homeland” even means in today’s globalized society.
Nithin is also a speaker for campus engagements, conferences, panels, and workshops. Be sure to visit his website, www.nithincoca.com.
This commercial from Ace Hardware shows “Greg” (Actor Ryun Yu) getting a bit of hardware advice from his “neighbor” at Ace.
Lucy Liu recently discussed racism in Hollywood, the problem with not being American enough and not being Asian enough–the classic paradoxical existence every Asian American lives in. She’s tired of being the emotionless Asian girl or the Asian girl that kicks your butt.
But her role in “Elementary“, a contemporary re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes in New York, throws a sizable wrench in the Asian female stereotypes by casting her as Dr. Joan Watson. What’s cool about this from an Asian American perspective?
First of all, she doesn’t have an Asian sounding name because, you know, not all of us do. Duh. Second, she is a female doctor who is drawn into forensics. That just screams Scully awesomeness. Finally, she’s just a person in this show. Not an Asian person or and Asian American person, just another person, a character with thoughts and feelings, with a personal past of some sort of tragedy or conflict, who finds herself having to deal with the bizarrely enigmatic Holmes. You don’t see her prancing around in geisha wear or striking a kung fu pose. She’s just Dr. Watson, doing her job, and letting herself be dragged into Sherlock’s world.
I watched the first episode and was pleased with it for all the reasons stated above. Then I proceeded to hate the show, because as cool as Lucy Liu’s Dr. Joan Watson was, I could not stand this Sherlock Holmes.
Continue Reading »
By “Cleanchino” Cho
Although I am not a proud lurker on Facebook, I still continue to browse the ever-so revealing News Feed on a regular basis. It’s part of my ritual during my daily commute home from work. Facebook is not only just a social media profile page, but it is a marketplace for sharing information. While scrolling down, I find an interesting image posted on an acquaintance’s posting. I was profoundly confused after reading the description defined on the image.
It stated the following:
Asian girls definition: The best looking women on Earth. Make great wives, great sex, usually not as slutty as white girls, can cook good food, and make white girls undesirable in comparison.
Using the lovely capabilities and options on Facebook, my acquaintance also decides to ‘tag’ 20 of her Asian girlfriends to the post, with many of them ‘Liking’ the status.
If you can’t wait to see the highly-anticipated The Hangover, Part III, then pay attention!
Korean American actor Ken Jeong returns in the third and final film in director Todd Phillips’ record-shattering comedy trilogy. Jeong reunites with stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha for the epic conclusion to an incomparable odyssey of mayhem and bad decisions, in which the guys must finish what they started by going back to where it all began: Las Vegas. The Hangover Part III opens May 23, 2013.
Two years have passed since “The Hangover Part II” and Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are happily living uneventful lives at home. Tattoos have been lasered off, files purged. The last they heard from disaster-magnet Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), he’d been tossed into a Thai prison and, with him out of the way, the guys have very nearly recovered from their nights prowling the seamy side of Las Vegas in a roofie’d haze, and being kidnapped, shot at, and chased by drug-dealing mobsters in Bangkok.
The only member of the Wolfpack who’s not content is Alan (Zach Galifianakis). Still lacking a sense of purpose, the group’s black sheep has ditched his meds and given in to his natural impulses in a big way—which, for Alan, means no boundaries, no filters and no judgment—until a personal crisis forces him to finally seek the help he needs.
And who better than his three best friends to make sure he takes the first step. This time, there’s no bachelor party. No wedding. What could possibly go wrong? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.
One way or another…it all ends here.
Ok, ok, you just want to know how to win? Read on!
One common theme that has been echoing in some of the documentaries presented in Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is that mix-raced Asians either in the states or in an Asian country, or Asian immigrants are trying to find out who they are and what country they represent. The identity searching is a ever-green theme in the Asian American community which has 60 percent first-generation immigrants and the largest percentage of interracial marriage.
In the documentary Hafu, it explored the life of mix-raced Japanese in Japan. The film showed that about 2 million foreigners were living in Japan in 2010, constituting around 30,000 international marriages. Children from these marriages are called Hafu, a Japanese word evolved from the English word “half,” indicating half Japanese and half foreigner.
Japan strictly upholds the ideology of “one nation, one culture, one race.” It outcasts the mix-raced Japanese, who grew up there and speak the language perfectly. The film has profiled different mix-raced Japanese from all kinds of racial combination, background, age and both genders. It provides a deep and well-rounded view about the struggle they have and the questions they raise about their country and themselves. All of their stories are revolving around one question–“Who am I?”
Get to know the writers who make 8Asians possible! Joz started the “Meet the 8Asians” series a while back when she introduced our then resident heartthrob Brian. Now meet some of our new writers on staff, such as Lianne, Asian America’s down-to-earth sweetheart.
I’ll be honest. I hunted her down. Didn’t I, Lianne? Okay. So 8A kind of has a crush on Lianne Lin. I mean, don’t you? Stunning, beautiful inside and out, funny, isn’t afraid to make fun of herself, and has whip-smart substantive points of view to offer on the Asian American experience, how do you not have a crush on her?
Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero are basically two halves of the same film. Zero came out in the U.S. last fall, and Hero just came out a couple weeks ago. These movies had kung fu, steam punk, and a video game rpg-like quality to it. It had so much promise to be a really awesome fusion of some really cool elements. The first half, Tai Chi Zero, seemed to start out okay. The kung fu action was good, and I especially enjoyed the geometric graphic explanations of the techniques. The steam punk aspect was pretty fun, and as far as I know, it is the only steampunk kung fu movie out there. But here’s where the awesome stops and the bad begins.
Continue Reading »