Reporting on the ground in Hong Kong, various media have written about protesters singing the “Do you Hear the People Sing” tune from Les Misérables (see here, here, and here). I’m sure that is the case that it was sung, and sung in various places in and around town at the protests sites around the city (including the latest one to sprout up, in Tsim Tsa Tsui) in the #occupycentral civil disobedience movement. But I’m not sure that song is the anthem of the protest. There’s another tune that is a much likelier contender.
Again, the one right I have is given to me because I love movies like In The Loop. The media consumer’s right. With Scotland Independent, there will be no more movies like In The Loop, for what makes that movie is the outrageous, internecine feuding that takes place only amidst the intimacy of family members- in this case Scots and English.
Integrity means listening. It means taking the time to reflect on what it is that you have to do, and however large or small the task is at hand, to always have good intentions. Integrity is always the first step.
"Hapa," the term many mixed race Asian Americans embrace as their own is under attack. Myriad social media accounts are casting its use as "cultural appropriation." In more hostile examples, some assert it is a subtle form of colonization, evoking the cultural genocide inflicted upon Native Hawaiians for generations, by Whites and Asians alike. It is a term that evokes colonial "divide and conquer;" it is theft. So they say.
I don’t use the term myself; I don’t particularly relate to it. But I’m paying close attention to this “debate.” And the reason I have debate in parens is that social media has yet to hear the other side.
Who is going to stand up for “Hapa?” Is there enough behind “Hapa” as an I.D. that those who used to use it, that those who sometimes use it will publicly defend it?
In Wei Ming-Dariotis’ 2007 article The Word of Power, she says: “Native Hawaiians have never colonized anyone.” This is a widely cited article in the “debate.” It is a good read, though that particular statement is terribly shaky. Any visit to a Hawaiian museum, or a Maori cultural center will clearly show how proud any and all of the Polynesian peoples are of their nautical heritage. The Hokule’a and other outrigger boats were hugely advanced for their time; coupled with advanced skills in wayfinding, navigation and seamanship the Polynesians had no trouble populating the Western and South Pacific- a long time ago. There is a distinct “warrior” heritage, differing slightly from Island group to Island group, but exemplified in the Maori “Haka.” The historical narrative in the United States of the Hawaiian peoples is that they were powerless. But ask a Melanesian. Ask an islander from an island group who was displaced by Polynesian naval power. They might suggest, in fact, the Hawaiian peoples represent Polynesian conquest. Most of them do not exist anymore- and the story is more complicated than we might think.
Is any non-Hawaiian use of “Hapa”“cultural appropriation?” That seems to go too far. Does intent matter? That people might use it as a term of endearment- does that change things? History is complicated, language is complicated. If you think it is worth fighting for- if “hapa” means something to you, why would you fold on the basis of a single interpretation? Is there a real debate to be had?
But just because you respect a culture and it's only a nickname doesn't mean it's not appropriate. (and if you aren't japanese you don't get to decide) I'm not saying you're disrespectful or anything like that, I'm saying having a japanese or asian sounding name is probably not a good idea. You can pick whatever the fuck you want for a new name, I don't really care, you just shouldn't pick something that's asian if you aren't asian. Point blank: It's culturally appropriative, and really weeby.
I understand where you’re coming from, but I will ask that you refrain from cursing in your messages to me. This page is not the forum for this, and if you’re going to bring this topic to the table, which is perfectly fine, I ask that you met me at my level please.
If you want to talk further, you can come off of anon and message me using your tumblr, otherwise, I’m going to have to refrain from messaging me further.
May I ask if you, yourself, are Asian? If so, then I’d love to continue the conversation so I can better understand your perspective.
Robinson possessed a rich, varied varied biography that showcased him as warrior-poet of sorts, an accomplished boxer and a man of letters who authored books and wrote highly literate articles widely read in the Netherlands[ii]. He was also interned under the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies during WWII. The sheer force of his life experience was probably enough to give Robinson an audience- but he cared deeply about all things “Indo,” affording him a special authority.
These photographs (photographer unknown) are from an exhibit at the 2009 Tong Tong Festival in Den Haag, Holland. The idea was to peek into the living spaces of contemporary Indos, that is line of people descended from Indo-Dutch heritage who once resided in The Dutch East Indies, pretty much all of whom now live in Holland, gleaning what we can.
Most importantly, “Hapa” is in decline because Gen Z is rising, fast. And they have a different take.
"Hapa" is the ultimate "Millenial" term. It is cheerful. It is "multicultural." It is "here and now."
Generation Z is entrepreneurial, and they want to be experts. They have lived the Great recession; they understand that to get a job they have to think about the future- they need to anticipate where the jobs are going to be, what the challenges and opportunities of the global economy mean to them. They know that conversational ability in five languages is less valuable than dual fluency. They know that to survive they have to be resourceful- they have to have solid skills and knowledge, that is going to facilitate critical cross-functional work. In all of this, they want to be impactful. And any way you slice that- it means global.