A look into the struggles of being Asian
March 27, 2017
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As a local Asian American, I took upon me the burden of informing the East Lake High community all about Asians. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Asians are one of the greatest people ever. When I talk about Asians, I am referring to countries east of the “Stans” and India, so mostly China and East and Southeast Asia.
A common mistake people make is that they assume that all Asians are Chinese, or they think that Asian people is an ethnicity rather than a race. I’ve come across people who go “Wait you’re Japanese? I thought you were Asian,” meaning they believed that only the Chinese are Asian or that they think Asians are completely separate from Chinese, Japanese, and others who live, come from, or have roots from that country are Asian. Asians are in Asia, Europeans ethnicities located in Asia. To put it simply, if the country is in the continent of Asia, then those are in Europe and so on.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking that Asians are only Chinese rather than different ethnicities. But as I said, some countries are not really as Asian or consider themselves Asian even though they are in the continent of Asia. Indians, for an example, are not quite Asian because of the geographical barrier of the Himalayas and very different culture from common southeastern Asian culture. Indians are also not considered Asian because they do not quite follow the common Asian stereotypes in popular culture, such as “yellow skin” “small eyes.” Indians are often considered a class of their own and separate from Asians because of the cultural and genetic differences.
Another difference is between China and all of the “stan” countries, meaning countries such as Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the other smaller “stans”. These countries although located in Asia are often not correlated with being Asian as one, they do not fit popular culture’s stereotype of being Asian, and two, they are middle eastern countries. Iran is the last country that war west that is in Asia. As most know, Iran is not an “Asian” country but yet simply resides in the continent of Asia. The reason there is a split with them not being Asian is because after the battle of the Talas River in 751 AD, the Tang dynasty held off Muslim invaders and there was a stalemate. Since then, the Talas has formed a sort of border between Muslim countries and non-Muslim countries.
So the next time you see an Asian, don’t make those mistakes.