Friday, 18 March 2011

Say What? Part 2

What do you think when you hear someone described as Asian?

I always pictured something like this:

In England, it means something like this:

This can make things pretty confusing.  Actual conversation:

Ross:  She's Asian.
Meg:  British Asian or American Asian?
Ross: British.

Ross says that he would refer to someone who is American Asian as Oriental- which would sound pretty outdated and possibly racist to Americans.  Apparently, the term Asian keeps people who are from other countries (notably Pakistan) from mistakenly being referred to as Indian.
Or if you are a Royal, you can simply refer to this ethnicity as "slitty eyed".  Yuck!  I guess when you don't introduce enough new genes into the pool...


  1. I have a request. Can you clear me up on the pronunciation of tuppence. And maybe why.

  2. I'm on it. Expect a post early next week :)

  3. What confuses me here is when Kenyans (who were educated under a British system) refer to Indians as Asian. So it's interesting that the Brits over yonder refer to Asians as those who are non-Indians.

  4. Oops! I guess I didn't explain that clearly enough... Asian is an umbrella term that encompasses Indians, Bangladeshi people, Pakistanis... So it's prob the same in Africa.

  5. Hi there! I just discovered your blog on the Expat-Blog site and will definitely continue reading! I'm South African, but agree with you - when we hear someone described as Asian we have the same pictures in mind as you! I heard Indians described as Asian here for the first time. Then realised that I suppose it's correct as India is part of Asia! Will continue reading now. You inspired me to go do a nice "About me" page like you've got! It was fun to read a bit more about who you are before starting to read your blog :-)

  6. Anneliese- Hi! Thank's so much for stopping by and for letting me know you're reading :) It is funny to think that Asian is totally an accurate label for this ethnic group, but I never would have realized it before moving here.

  7. I concur with Anneliese; I like your About Me page. You'll have to help me with mine, it's not so exciting. And I'm not really sure how to get it to be at the top like that. Way to be more prolific than me in the blogging arena; I'm failing miserably. I need suggestions. And I thought of a topic for you: the need to sign off with xx and the meaning behind how many you include. Discuss.

  8. Thanks Micah! I'll talk you through how to add an About Me page if you ever call me :) As for prolific-ness, I figure it's "Go big or go home!" I'm trying to post every day and it's been working so far. I'm hoping I don't run out of things to talk about! Thanks for the suggestion. It's a great one! I'll work on a post for next week or so.