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Cultural appropriation / racism to use Chinatown

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Lynne View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lynne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2017 at 5:08pm
Forgot I had read this fantastic comedy this round, set in "Lung Town." I thought the language component was handled well because it turned a few stereotypes into a new form.

‘Oh, for f**k’s sake,’ Liu Hai Yan said (or, at least, the nearest Cantonese equivalent thereof). ‘Can we not do this today?’
~ from Forget It Liu, It’s Lung Town - by myth SS - first in their round - worth reading again.

I went to a family Choctaw event this weekend, and having a Swedish mother and as was pointed out to me - being married to an Anglo, made me an outsider. FistofCurry made an excellent point about ethnic identity. Who are we really and can we be fully realized without paying homage to where we come from?


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fistofcurry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fistofcurry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2017 at 5:33pm
In writing the character of a half-Chinese, half-Swedish person living in Chinatown in San Francisco, you should also consider how they see themselves and how their family feels.

When I went to India to meet my dad's family for the first time, I, along with my sister and my white fiancee, were treated as family right away. They never made me feel as if I was an outsider. Walking around and interacting with other Indians on the street, however, it was all too obvious that I was not fully Indian, and while I was never treated with prejudice it definitely changed how I interacted with people on the streets. For example, in the tourist shops near the Taj Mahal I was charged the 'American' price, not the 'Indian' price. People addressed me in English first, not Hindi. They did not serve me extremely spicy food.

On the other hand, I've heard of people with mixed white and Chinese or Japanese heritage who report that they are shunned by their family members in China or Japan for being mixed race.

There's also the question of to what degree they are steeped in Chinese culture. Does the character's Chinese parent speak Mandarin or Cantonese at home? Does their parent try hard to integrate into American culture, or do they try to preserve their Chinese culture? Does your character have mostly Chinese friends or American friends? Do they go to Mandarin or Cantonese school? Have they ever been to China?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JoshWGG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2017 at 10:57pm
Cultural appropriation is a made up term. Especially this is true for America where we blend many cultures into our speech, music, art, food, and dress. Americans are of every culture and none so this term is quite meaningless, otherwise we might have a half Chinese half German bard being accused of it while just being themselves. Nobody owns the culture they inherited at birth. If anything, it owns them, and those of us who are awakened to this fact seek to enrich our lives with the best of every culture while disdaining the worst of even our own native cultures.

That said, research and communication with representatives of the culture in question will qualify you to write it.


Edited by JoshWGG - 31 Mar 2017 at 10:58pm
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