Growing Up Half Asian American: Curse or Gift?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-17 17:08Z by Steven

Growing Up Half Asian American: Curse or Gift?

Asian Fortune: your source for all things asian american

Tamara Treichel

In this era of globalization and liberalization, being – and identifying as – biracial is becoming increasingly common. Yet only a few decades ago, unions between the races which may lead to biracial offspring were punishable by law in different countries. Think about Nazi-era Germany and eugenics, where Rassenschaender (“defilers of race”) were paraded through the streets for marrying or having intimate relationships with “non-Aryans,” Apartheid-era South Africa, where interracial relationships were also punishable by law, and yes, even the proverbial melting pot, the United States….

…In fact, interracial marriages were prohibited in the United States as early as colonial times, and were only permitted in the United States some three centuries later, in 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia finally legalized marriage across racial lines.

Asian Fortune talked to several HAPAs both at home and as far abroad as Tokyo about the challenges and opportunities facing this unique demographic group. (A note on terminology: HAPA is used here in the sense of Half Asian Pacific American; meanwhile, there is a Hawaiian Pidgin term hapa, which means “part” or “mixed,” and Hawaiians use it to refer to persons of any kind of mixed ethnic heritage). Many of them talked about the difficulties they have in identifying with any particular race…

Kip Fulbeck, a well-known artist, slam poet and filmmaker said he identified with HAPA more than any specific race. Fulbeck is the author of several books including Part Asian, 100% HAPA as well as the director of a dozen films such as Banana Split and Lilo & Me. His “HAPA Project” is a stunning collection of portraits and handwritten words of HAPA individuals…

Read the entire article here.

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