deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
[personal profile] deepad
I had been planning to host a seminar discussion for the second Asian Women's Blog Carnival because its theme was something I had been wanting to talk about for a long time, but I have been burnt out to the point of not checking LJ/DW, let alone being able to write anything.

Some time ago I had a private discussion under filter where I voiced some of my frustrations as a sourcelander about the way the hyphenate experience was being treated. In the comments, a number of hyphenates, TCKs and diasporians said some extremely wise and complex things, that gave me a lot to think about regarding my own biases and bigotry as a sourcelander.

Round about the same time, in a meatspace conversation with two friends, one a hyphenate and the other a trans-national (and trans-racial) adoptee, I had to make a shameful admission. They both talked about going to visit their sourcelands and being made to feel like outsiders--judged and mocked for their lack of knowledge about their source culture, and I had to confess that in India, I was totally that mocking, judgmental person.

Because I do not have the energy to make a post processing all my thoughts as a result of those conversations, I offer instead a glossary of definitions, as well as an edited summary of the impromptu seminar.


Definitions:

Sourcelanders - People living in the source land/region/nation/location from which that geo-cultural identity springs. An Indian living in Delhi is a sourcelander.
I prefer the term 'sourceland' rather than 'homeland', because terming one specific site a 'home' implies an exile status on those not inhabiting it that seems unnecessarily hierarchical.

Hyphenates - People with an additional geo-cultural identity that is separate from the source land. A Chinese-American is a hyphenate.

Diasporians (or [personal profile] yeloson's 'diasporados') - People with a syncretic geo-cultural identity built up from a large-scale trans-national migration. The Caribbean descendants of the Indian population brought as indentured labourers to Trinidad are diasporians.

Trans-national adoptees - People from a different sourceland than their adoptive parents. A Korean boy adopted by White US citizens and raised in Minnesota is a trans-national adoptee.
This identity often overlaps with that of trans-racial adoptees, because the majority of trans-national adoptions happen with White parents from the global north (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Canada) adopting children from South America, Africa and Asia. However, it cannot be a synonym, because a number of trans-racial adoptions occur between White parents and Black children from the same country.

Third Culture Kids - A person who "[as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture".
As the problematic Wikipedia entry demonstrates, TCK definitions skew heavily White and First World. I think we can make it functional to our experience, but I hesitate to use it as a identity without explicit qualifiers.

There are two more terms that I really want to talk about - Syncretism, and Subaltern Studies. But I feel like they need their own posts to do them justice, so I will not attempt to tackle them here.

Defining when a sourcelander transitions into becoming a hyphenate is fraught with both political and emotional implications. Second-generation U.S citizens, for instance, are automatically considered hyphenates, but what about their greencard holding parents? Or even their Indian citizen grandparents who have been brought over to live out their twilight years babysitting their grandchildren? What happens when I come to the US, and people assume I have grown up here, or, that I plan to settle here?

In some ways, the official Indian governmental term of NRI--Non-Resident Indians--sidesteps this problem by lumping everyone together as a group that is simply 'Not Here, but Still Us'. Its the kind of appropriative logic that makes Naipaul and Mahendra Chaudhry and Aasif Mandvi Indian, at the same time as claiming Mother Teresa. It works as a tenuous construction of an ethnic and pseudo-racial identity, but politically and culturally, it flattens the realities of multiple loyalties that hyphenates have, and completely ignores the unique and authentic culture of the diaspora.

The popular construction of the term 'desi' is a little less problematic about flattening geo-cultural identities by referencing an ethnicity, but its etymology as a Sanskrit word and its prevalence in Hindu patriotism about nationality make it a word that I would hesitate to use for the non-Indian subcontinental diaspora/hyphenate identity unless I heard them use it for themselves.

Discussion:

[personal profile] deepad - So this is one of my main breaking points, and one of the reasons I keep quiet in discussions of race so often. There's a lot of discussion around the problematic implications of the term "authenticity", and how it is used to exclude and police in ways that are divisive.

But as someone who has often resented the NRI writing brigade for churning out stuff that is hailed as representative when in fact it is NOT, I am... so angry at people who start by using the cultural heritage they did not know about in order to tell their own stories... its not the same fucking thing as growing up hearing those stories told multiple times and with arguments because they were real people, because somewhere you had the belief, even though you prided yourself on your rational atheism, that the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were histories. Not part of your quaint exotic heritage you can milk to break into the multi-cultural market.

[personal profile] oyceter - I really suck when it comes to talking about authenticity, largely because I've felt inauthentic my entire life (both as an Asian-American and as someone who grew up in Taiwan). And as you know, DeepaBob, I have Issues when people from Asian countries criticize the development of Asian-hyphenated identities (my roommate, who is a TCK like me, said she feels Asian-Ams appropriate her culture), not because I think appropriation is bad, but because I feel it's often used in a way to dismiss the voices of hyphenated people. And that feels wrong because often the people doing it are the majority race in their own country (like my roommate) and don't necessarily understand how it feels to live as a minority in another country (we will leave global politics out for now, because I do think being the majority in a non-white country is still different from being white in a white country).

[personal profile] deepad - Ah, and see, I've felt like someone who had to prove authenticity, and once having earned it, had to defend it to the death. So I fully admit that I am not being objective about this issue.
I think for me the criticism from source lands about hyphenated identities is so important because in comparison with the material privileges that weigh the voices of the hyphenated identities on a global scale, the source land voices have a resentment of the proportions.
You are right, of course, about the difference between being a majority and a minority, and I think it is both fascinating and scary, how culture-claiming is used as a protective shield in those cases.
Which leads to the importance of the subaltern studies genre when indulging in post-colonialism.

[personal profile] oyceter - On an India and China level, it'll be interesting seeing how the status of minority versus majority voices change with the economies of the countries. I suspect that Japanese voices are heard more here, as opposed to Japanese-Am voices because so many JapaneseAms were disenfranchised during internment and because Japan is relatively wealthy, thanks to their own colonial ambitions.
But yeah, you are very right about class tying into it all, and especially the simultaneous resentment and pride in those who leave and those who stay.

[personal profile] deepad - Yes, its the ladder of authenticity, where, like the desiderata says, "if you compare yourself with others you will become vain or bitter, for always there will be persons greater or lesser than yourself."

[personal profile] phi- I really feel the pain of NRIs and ABCDs who learn our histories second or third-hand, often as adults, and often from a colonizers point of view (largely because I am one of those ABCDs who didn't grow up immersed in source culture), but there are ways to tell the immigrant/diaspora stories without giving white folks the impression that this is the One True Way Real Indians do things. A story about someone who grew up hearing the Mahabarata in the 'desh is just as interesting as a story about someone who heard a half-fractured retelling and trying to come to terms with being a TCK, as long as the second storyteller is honest about where and how they came by their knowledge, yanno?

[personal profile] deepad - Ok, take Bapsi Sidhwa's The Ice Candy Man. I loathed that book with an unholy passion, and spent way too long annoying my post-colonial English professor pointing out historical inaccuracies in it. On the other hand, Jhumpa Lahiri's book didn't annoy me because it was about the hyphenated experience.
There's this whole intersectionality thing about the resentment of those who've 'stayed behind', for the people who have more privilege to wield their voices (I know this is true in classical Indian performing arts, where people in the US doing utter crap have money and resources and praise that the best of the best artists in India don't.)

[personal profile] phi - My point was, that stories about the hyphenated experience are interesting in their own right, so it's kind of silly when hyphenated people try to pretend they aren't. Well, I see it as silly, from my relatively privileged position, but I can see how you would see it as loathesome.

[personal profile] deepad - I think my annoyance stems from either the hyphenated writers misrepresenting source lands (there was one YA book where Ganesha was made out to be a trickster god, which, just... NO) or the hyphenated experience receiving more recognition/praise/value/money/etc than source-land writers. Which can be blamed on the exchange rates and the global colonialisation that values white approval more than any other kind... but is also a comment on literacy and subaltern voice.
It's complicated, although perhaps I am rationalising to justify my dislikes.

[personal profile] bossymarmalade - See, that I'm a little more iffy about. I've had a lot of experiences with homeland Indians telling me that the way that I practise and understand Hinduism is Wrong, that I'm not using the right words or rituals or anything and I should learn how to do it *properly*.
But their Hinduism didn't come through the same crucible that mine did, or survive and adapt in the same way mine did. So although I wouldn't go all VS Naipaul and try to write about an India that I'm unfamiliar with, I would feel entitled to write about the Hinduism my great-grandparents brought with them even if it's a version that doesn't resonate with the homeland.
Does that make sense? It's something I think of a lot, with regards to many parts of my cultural makeup, and I'm still working through it (obviously, heh!).
Semi-relatedly, there *is* a problem with hyphenates conflating their own diasporic understanding with the source lands; if this YA book made some sort of suggestion that Hindus in India or ALL Hindus see Ganesh that way, that's not right. I think this aggressive desire to "write India" really speaks to the longing in diasporic populations to reconnect with the homeland, make sure they haven't forgotten us, make sure they know we still keep the traditions and we're not lesser in any way.

[personal profile] colorblue - ahh, this is so interesting! See, I feel almost absurdly protective of India, because when I first came to the states it was quite clear that a lot of Indian Americans viewed my Indianness as something strange and backwards, and ahaha, then I turned into one of those NRIs, and now I feel like the problem isn't that people - both Westerners and Indians - disregard my experiences, but rather that they give them much more weight than they deserve. (Just one example - the last time I was in India, I went to visit my aunt's school, and the principal and a couple of the teachers were all "SPEAK TO THE STUDENTS ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AND GIVE THEM ADVICE!" - and things like this keep on happening and I keep on going "...." a lot.)
See, and I feel like it might be better if people in India had been better at forgetting us (not us as in you and me, us as in me and the other NRIs I know offline), because I think we have more power and authority than we should, which is quite awful because we're some of the most colonized bunch of Indians you could find, and our vision of India, what it is and should be, is very influenced by that. (And it is just - there is so much crap I've internalized, because I'm working to get ahead in a system that it would be for the best benefit of most Indians - most people in the world, actually - to dismantle completely. And that is just one small part of the problem too.) And yet our voices are taken as what India and Indians and Hindus should be in the states, are granted more weight, and that bleeds over to India too and warps it.
I can see where you're coming from, though - I think there's a power differential here, and we happen to be on opposite sides of it. (There are lots of stories in India of people coming to America/England/Australia, but very few that I've come across talking about the Indian experience in SAfrica, Trinidad, etc.) So, yeah, not trying to invalidate your experience, or give the impression that it's wrong, because I don't think this at all! Just think the world's really messed up, the way it ignores your experience and gives so much weight to some parts of mine (as long as I say certain things, anyway), and yes, it's yet another reason to hate the white supremacist capitalist hierarchies!
....also, ack, I didn't mean to be this glib! Things like this are really easy for me to say from where I'm sitting, and although I have been on the receiving end of misunderstandings and misinterpretations due to flattening and othering, on this issue I feel like I'm more one of those who has privilege to abuse. My vision of what Hinduism should be is that of a religion that is adaptable and welcomes differences, and I think it must've been that in the past to have remained as diverse as it is today, but at the same time I can see why Indians would insist on their traditions and ways of doing things as a way of resisting white hierarchical/capitalist culture, which a lot of American NRIs are not just content to be a part of but seem bent on being missionaries for. I just wish there was space for more, that it wasn't a binary; I keep feeling that the English came and flattened our world and ourselves and that we're still playing by their rules most of the time.

[personal profile] bossymarmalade - I'm actually quite happy to have homeland-Indians I can talk to about this, because the ones I know in person here are either acquaintances/co-workers or are really not in the same place in the discussion that I am (as in, they still apologetically say they don't think of me as a "real" Indian). So it's very illuminating for me to hear your and Deepa's POVs, because I never recognized that the hyphenates and Westernized desis were privileged above homelanders re: the reality of India herself. Although of course when you point it out, it's so OBVIOUS!!
Also, here I am committing the cardinal sin of invoking the Irish during a discussion of race (ahahahha!) but I recall some Irish people saying that they fucking hated the diasporic Irish for romanticizing the violence in Ireland and keeping it going and representing it wrongly. I think there's definitely an element of dysfunction sometimes when it comes to homeland/diaspora relations, because both sets of people don't really *get* what it's like for the other set and we feel ... guilty? wrong? defiant? about that.

[personal profile] deepad - I think we can bring up the Irish in filter, because the point is actually very valid, about the diaspora/homland dysfunction, which then gets warped by who has money and global visibility. I think we could also extend this to the Americans-writing-Celtic issues, (since we are all man enough here to admit that whiteness is not a monolith ;))
OH! And I just realised that I do the whole West Indians read as Black thing too, and realised its about the dialect and accents. That the speech patterns map more closely to my perceptions of Blackness (American or Caribbean--this is all chock full of essentialisations), than to perceptions of how Indian English maps (or is supposed to) to White English accents.
Mainland Indian issues with racism are just skeevy to begin with, before adding what happened when there were "actual Negro" people thrown into the mix in Africa and the Caribbean, and now that I think about it, I think that part of the reason its so easy for mainland India to ignore the island diaspora is that they are being written off, by association, as being "too black".
I keep trying to tell people that India had slaves markets during Shivaji's time, selling Black Africans.... we don't fucking get to excuse ourselves because of colonisation for our fucked up racism.

YES THE WEIGHT GIVEN IS WHAT WARPS THE PERCEPTION OF EXPERIENCE.
It's part of the internalised colonialism that means we value White opinions of our sourcelands more than subaltern voices, and we value the ones who escaped to privileged lands more.

[personal profile] colorblue - Yes, though I go even further than that, because imo weight is almost always given to those perceptions that reinforce the present hierarchies and are the most flattering and least challenging to the majority, and they prevent other more urgent/real voices from being heard.

[personal profile] deepad - You make perfect sense, and I think its a great point that even this idea of sourceland is essentialising, yes? So what happens to the Hinduism that did travel out to the Caribbeans and Indonesia and Thailand etc, and belong there, but then has to come be lumped together with Indian Hinduism in the Western context?
The relationship of diasporas to sourceland is complicated and fraught enough without it having to be negotiated in a colonial and imperialist white space.

[personal profile] yasaman - I too think the question of authenticity is really difficult and problematic, especially for those of us who have hyphenated identities, because we get it from both sides. Not majority enough, not minority enough, you know? (Not to mention the tensions between the diaspora and those who stayed...) It's difficult to navigate, and leads to all manner of identity crises. But you are right, using a cultural heritage they don't know about to tell their own stories...it's problematic. And of course it brings up the question of how you can reclaim your heritage and your peoples' stories, without the problems you talk about. I think it's safe to say that learning and reclaiming one's heritage via the colonizers or the dominant group isn't exactly the right way to go about it.

[personal profile] deepad - You do get it from both sides, don't you? I really need to think this issue through, because I've spent the majority of my life mocking the first gen and hyphenates when they get India wrong, and now that the majority of my interaction is with people like you (especially online), I have to make sure I'm not just staying quiet for the sake of protecting individual people, but that I have extended the reflective process to make sure I'm challenging my own ethnic bigotry.

[personal profile] coffeeandink - I will just say that part of my conflict comes from, well, sometimes when people emigrate, stories are all they are able to take with them. Sometimes your parents' stories and your body is the only pre-immigration inheritance you get. So I get very ... defensive and protective of the right of people to tell and transform the stories they've inherited. And also I think sometimes immigrants keep the older versions, while the stories are continuing to change in the home country. And I think about how I might want to tell my parents' and grandparents' stories even if they were born in another country, even if their memories of that country weren't the memories of the people who stayed.
But then I also think it's important not to ignore the disparities of power and how representations of the real or imagined past get used to simplify the present of countries with less global power, particularly postcolonial countries, and I think that's important to pay attention to as well.
I don't know. It's a human thing, that the stories we tell are how we define and create community, but it's also a particularly/peculiarly Jewish thing, that we have been so long a Diaspora people (and honestly in my heart I think we should still be, though this is not a universal opinion) and what unites the people of a Diaspora, no matter how much they change from each other, is the shared source of the stories they tell, even when the stories change over time.
But of course I say that as a white Jew. Members of the African Diaspora, or the Indian Diaspora, might say that the source culture is part of what unites them, but the shared experience of discrimination also plays a role. So.

[personal profile] deepad - [I keep this comment because it works very well for the framing of how Hinduism and its related texts have been renarrated in South East Asia, and because it serves me as a good thwap on the head whenever I start becoming a Valmiki purist about the Ramayana.]

[personal profile] bravecows - What you say about the privilege of hyphenated identities in comparison to sourcelanders makes so much sense. And yet -- they have the privilege of having greater resources and fame, of being acknowledged by the Western world, but then again they live as minorities in white Western countries, so it's not like they haven't lost anything. I keep saying 'they'; obviously I'm hyphenated as well, so I have that disconnect from the source culture, but being Malaysian doesn't confer that sort of privilege the way being American would.
All the M'sian writers in English I can think of who have been published/feted in the West live abroad -- America, England, Paris, anywhere but Malaysia.

[personal profile] deepad - So what you said about all the English Malaysian writers living abroad is fascinating. And very very revealing.
And you are totally right about the fact that hyphenates have lost a lot by giving up being the majority to live as a minority -- and I think that heightened sense of self is what prompts them to find their voices, often.
For instance, it is true that Gandhi and Patel and Nehru all went abroad, lived as students in England, (and in Gandhi's case, worked in South Africa) before coming back to an awareness of needing to fight for and in the sourceland.
The role of the comparatively privileged outsider in returning to source community to incite change is really complex and problematic, both.

Note: I am still burnt out, and will not be able to guarantee responses to any comments, though I am happy to play host to those POCs who wish to talk about this. To prevent derailment, all comments from those not on my access list will be screened. I would also strongly recommend that White people think long and hard before deciding to comment on this conversation here.

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Date: 8/6/09 05:28 am (UTC)
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] oyceter
Ooo! Um, since I too have been horribly remiss on compiling the carnival, do you mind if I put this in?

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Date: 8/6/09 06:16 am (UTC)
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
From: [personal profile] yhlee
Thank you for this post. I've mostly only thought about being hyphenated (Korean-American, lived in Korea for 9 years, USA for the rest of it) in the very very very limited sense of cultural appropriation in a writing context (and even there I don't have a lot of data), but I haven't thought through implications where, for example, this intersects with class and economic privilege.

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Date: 8/6/09 03:25 pm (UTC)
yeloson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yeloson
There's this interesting experience as diaspora folks how time also becomes a distance traveled in cultural distance.

Music, songs, stories, worship, all of these things -do- change over time, and the pre-immigration bits oftentimes end up like insects trapped in amber- unchanging and strange when reintroduced to folks who've been in the source culture who didn't have to worry if things changed- because they needed no verification of authenticity.

And then the other side of the coin as a disaporan, the constant pressure to meet the majority either as a survival tactic or to gain privilege - especially when through the lens of colonialism and white supremacy.

And, also, the flip side of reconnecting- I don't know about other places, but I know for Chinese disaporans it's harder to come back and reconnect than it is for a white American to be allowed access and information, even without money.

It ends up forcing diasporans into an even further distanced place in terms of cultural identity, because they're disconnected from the living culture of the sourceland. (Then add in the white folks who DID get that authentic infomration, and then rebroadcast it in whatever fashion they feel like, how much is true, how much is exaggeration, misperception, etc?)

There's this interesting sense of peace I've come to in dealing with my own situation- both for all that is good and bad, I've been hit with the American racist hierarchy that wipes away individual cultures and leaves you a blanket ethnicity- culturally I'm "asian"(according to that fucked up standard) more than Chinese- a mix of cultural artifacts and practices, many not chinese in origin as much. Even in sense of the asian-american experience I'm cut off as each new immigration generation comes with a connection to a sourceland that I never had.

Have you seen either The Guru or The Business of Fancydancing? Two different types of Indian (!) but the movies both have some great commentary on the issues of authenticity and representation to the outside/Western/white world and who's voices get privileged.

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Date: 9/6/09 01:21 pm (UTC)
allburningup: Art of a brown-skinned, purple-haired, green-eyed woman with an orb of light hovering between her hands. (Default)
From: [personal profile] allburningup
The stuff discussed here has a lot to do with why I never did a remyth.

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Date: 9/6/09 02:55 pm (UTC)
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Thank you so much for this post.

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Date: 9/6/09 06:23 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
thanks for this post! &hearts you bring up a lot of things i've been trying to wrap my head around, and the framing of identity as sourcelander/hyphenate/etc. makes so much sense.

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Date: 9/6/09 07:45 pm (UTC)
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] oyceter
A completely random set of comments that largely consist of verbal regurgitation on my part:

  • I am so with you on the problematic-ness of the TCK definition, especially when its origins lie in Christian missionary kids growing up in different places. And I am mad that the term I've found that most closely describes my life is one that originated as a description for white kids living in that scary brown world, as opposed to growing up hyphenate and moving "back" to a sourceland or diaspora and then moving "back" yet again. My personal goal is to screw with the definition so much that people end up going "Wait, it originated to describe missionary kids? No way!"

  • I've never heard "desi" used to describe non-Indian people! Interesting.

  • I keep circling around your anger at being co-opted by hyphenates living in Western countries and thinking about Chinese experiences. I just watched the PBS documentary "Hollywood Chinese," where they talk a lot about how much easier it is for big stars in HK to come over to the US, as opposed to Chinese-Am actors, but I think that is because of how much money is in the HK film system (and now the growing Chinese film system). But also how the Chinese-Am voice in the US has frequently the voice of hyphenated diasporans from richer countries, along with the prejudice against Chinese immigrants from China, who are of course seen as more FOBby and poorer and icky and whatnot. And how I have been so glad of the current change in Taiwan movies to talk about Taiwan, not the mainland, and the super weird power differential there, with more established wealth on one side and political power and growing wealth (and missiles!) on the other.

  • And something here about how I still have an Amy Tan Issue and am putting off reading Maxine Hong Kingston for forever because their experiences were not mine, and I was a total snob from Taiwan going "Yeah, I am more Chinese than you, you person who turns her nose up at fish heads!" even though people in Taiwan laugh at me. But also how even though I totally support people in decolonization and how hard it is, it is still so painful to read stories from people who look like me about how my food is weird or disgusting and etc. (mostly from the people who still think so and reflect white hegemony back at you).

  • But mostly yes as to how so much of this is still tied back to white imperialism and white privilege, because it's almost inevitably hyphenates in WHITE places who get the money and the praise and how the recognition is invariably from the white world, because they still get to arbitrate what's "authentic" and whatnot more than we who own the experiences do.

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Date: 9/6/09 11:39 pm (UTC)
bravecows: Picture of a brown cow writing next to some books (Default)
From: [personal profile] bravecows
they talk a lot about how much easier it is for big stars in HK to come over to the US, as opposed to Chinese-Am actors

I know vanishingly little about this, but don't quite a lot of Asian-Am actors make it big in the entertainment industries of Hong Kong/Taiwan/Korea? "Quite a lot" is relative, of course, but I remember being surprised on several occasions to discover that a star I thought of as belonging to Hong Kong films came from America or Canada.

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Date: 10/6/09 10:43 pm (UTC)
phi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phi
I had NO idea that TCK originated to describe missionary kids. I've always assumed it referred to us second-gen'ers who haven't fully assimilated but aren't fully of our parents' culture either.

"Desi" is often used by hyphenates in the US who are part of a pan-South-Asian-American community. It's usually used by those of us who don't really have a finger on the pulse of happenings in the subcontinent, and only hear about the biggest news from family/friends/etc. My father thinks it's just ludicrous, since he grew up using the word to describe people from his family and neighborhood. In his time it had a much narrower geographical sense.

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Date: 9/6/09 08:43 pm (UTC)
silveronthetree: Dalek bearing a cup of tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveronthetree
Thank you very much for posting this. The conversation has addressed many issues about the differential views on the level of privilege between sourcelanders and hyphenates, that I hadn't considered previously.

The definitions have also made navigating this carnival much easier. I particularly appreciate your discussion on the complicated nature of those pigeonholes, as I'm not entirely sure which applies to me, probably hyphenate but there is also a diaspora and mixed race in there too! Thanks again.

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Date: 9/6/09 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhameia.blogspot.com
I have problems articulating myself reading this post. My train of thought kept going, "Interesting. Important to note. Interesting. Never thought of that before." In the end, it was a difficult read and I'm not sure I understood all of it, but I am very very glad to have read it.

Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Date: 10/6/09 01:53 am (UTC)
lady_ganesh: A cup of tea with the words 'tea addict' (tea)
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
This is amazing and has given me a lot to think about. As a Person of Pallor who has young trans-national adoptees in her family, I end up wondering about these things a lot (and worrying about the kids and the challenges they'll face as they continue defining their own identities).

No need to unscreen this, I just very much want to thank you for sharing this discussion.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh - Date: 10/6/09 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh - Date: 12/6/09 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 10/6/09 02:32 am (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Lya by hsapiens)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
thank you so much for posting and compiling. my gratitude is immense.

(no subject)

Date: 15/6/09 10:56 pm (UTC)
ciderpress: default: woman with red umbrella (Default)
From: [personal profile] ciderpress
Thanks for posting this; I've come back over the past week to read it again and again.

I'll admit that as much as it resonates, part of it still needs a lot of thought, reading and self-education on my part because much of it centres around experiences that I kind-of-do-but-don't share. It's interesting to see where my own experiences and environment diverge, partly because of my own personal history and partly because the relationship that many Asians and Asian hyphenates (both South Asians and Chinese) in the UK have with the UK and the sourceland can't be separated along the lines of America and Asia because of the different nature of colonial/post-colonial history and ideology.

It's sobering that the sourcelander/hyphenate divide comes not only from the relationship with the sourceland but with our social, cultural and economic relationships with whiteness, too. That, even here, whiteness takes up so much space.

Anyway, I don't want to ramble on, mostly because I don't feel like I have a grasp on just what it is I want to say in a public space. (I hope that you are well and keeping your head above water.)
Edited Date: 15/6/09 11:12 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 21/6/09 08:40 pm (UTC)
skywardprodigal: Beautiful seated woman, laughing, in Vlisco. (Default)
From: [personal profile] skywardprodigal
I've read this several times and I can't really comment.

I feel it heavy in my chest though.

There's too much going on, for me, as a Canadian-born woman who grew up in US and was raised by Haitian immigrants. I have had my own parents, and family, tell me I'm not Haitian. I'm also told I'm not Haitian. And I'm told I'm American because when in company with Americans abroad, I'm embarrassed by them and if I wasn't one of the, I wouldn't feel collective shame.

Thanks for hosting this discussion.

I don't really have much to add but, it helps me see, from a certain perspective, how it's problematic for me to insist I'm Haitian or Haitian-Canadian or Haitian-American.

I have family that was born and raised in Haiti, born and raised in Canada, and born and raised in the US. And elsewhere.

They're family. But what are we?

(no subject)

Date: 29/5/11 02:33 am (UTC)
kink_bingo_mods: a closeup from a vintage bondage photo; a woman is tying rope around another woman's wrists (mod bondage)
From: [personal profile] kink_bingo_mods
Hello - I have a question about linking. We're running a "chromatic characters" challenge at Kink Bingo this year, and I'm trying to compile useful links for people looking for definitions of "chromatic." I've linked to dark_agenda and chromaticvision, but I'd also like to link to this post, if that's okay with you. If not, I totally understand! In any case, thank you for posting it; it's a powerful piece of writing/conversation.

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deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
Deepa D.

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