Tag Archives: exoticism

dinner table conversation

posted by missmsian

I had dinner with my little (14-year-old) brother and two of his (Malaysian and Chinese) friends tonight. Here’s the scene …

Me, Bro, Friend 1 and Friend 2 are eating pizza. Friend 2 is channel surfing and lands on program called “The Elephant Princess.” The four watch the opening credits.

Me: Is she supposed to be … South … Asian … ?

Friend 1: Naw, she’s a white girl who discovers she’s the leader of this magical kingdom in India or something.

Bro: I watched one episode. It’s so stupid.

Friend 1: I don’t even need to watch one episode to know it’s stupid.

Friend 2: Yeah, it’s just really cliche.

Me: Oh, you mean it reminds you of other shows with a “white saviour” complex where white people are put in leadership positions over people of colour because it’s assumed people of colour are incapable of leading themselves?

Three blank stares. Mum enters the room.

Mum: You mean Avatar?

Bro: This show is stupid. Let’s just watch “The Amazing Race.” Team Jumba all the way!

Friend 2: What’s “The Amazing Race”? Wait, you mean kevjumba is on this show?

Friend 1: Yeah, man. Dude, you need to watch more TV.

Friend 2: They actually put Azns in this show?!

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invaded: september

posted by missmsian

September was a relatively quiet month for Azns in North American media coverage and decidedly less Islamophobic than August.

Mongolia, repeat after me: “Mine! Mine! Mine! Not yours.”

Prime Minister Harper met with Mongolia’s PM Sükhbaatar Batbold last Tuesday to discuss free trade and expressed at one point that Canada is interested in the Azn country’s gold, copper and uranium deposits. I have two pieces of advice for Mongolians:

(1) RUN AWAY. RUN VERY FAR AWAY. Remember the situation in Ecuador where armed security forces (for Canadian mining companies) allegedly attacked unarmed anti-mining protestors? Or the UN report calling out seven Canadian companies on exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Or the 15 Canadian-hired mine workers who were gunned down in the Philippines? You get the idea. I haven’t even included the damage done to Indigenous lands and peoples in this country.

(2) Learn from India: the government recently rejected a British firm’s proposal to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying the project would have caused extensive environmental damage and endangered the livelihoods of the Indigenous people in that region.

Experience an Azn oasis …

… right in your back–errrr–side. Cintas’ online poll ranks The Spice Route Asian Bistro and Bar as the second best bathroom in Canada because you can pee while admiring exotic Azn plants in a private garden.

Oh hai, ethnic shoppers

A new report shows that retailers who don’t target “ethnic shoppers” are missing out on a large revenue pool. This shouldn’t really be news because, duh, you lose big when you don’t cater to half the population’s needs/wants. My major issue with the coverage–aside from the sweeping generalizations about how “ethnic shoppers” purchase goods–is the use of the word “ethnic” as the opposite of “mainstream.” Really? C’mon now. You may as well have used “Oriental.”

Honouring Korematsu

During World War II, U.S. citizen Fred Korematsu bravely refused to be “relocated” to an internment camp and challenged the detention of Japanese-Americans as unconstitutional. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years’ probation. Although he appealed, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction. It was only in the 1980s that the conviction was overturned and his name was cleared.

In post-9/11 years, Korematsu spoke against the indefinite detention of those deemed to be “enemy combatants” without charge.

This month, California’s Guvenator signed a bill designating every January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.

A great “situ-asian”

Team Jumba on The Amazing Race, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-O, Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) and Harry “Situ-Asian” Shum Jr. (Mike Chang) on Glee … to end off on a positive note, Azns are getting a lot of love in American pop culture these days. Let’s hope this keeps up.

Yes, they are Azn. Yes, they are dating.

And speaking of situ-azns … what’s going on with Azn Jersey Shore? Has it been picked up by a major network yet?

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