Sunday, March 31, 2013

Do Asian People See Less?

My good friend, +Brian Workman, over at thegesslar inspired me with this post.

Diversity is a great thing! When you have a diverse group of people who do and love the same things and share a common bond, it is beautiful. Why shouldn't everyone have the same experience with diversity as we fortunate ones who have shed our fears of different cultures and belief systems? Because, they are being educated by those who are ignorant and fearful. I'm not saying it's so bad, but we can fix it.

My friend Brian answered some stereotypical questions which popped up on his Google type ahead for the partial keyword list: do gay people. The suggested choices from Google were interesting, so I decided to do my own question and answer session, representing my folk, Asian people. I'm only a subset, being Japanese. However, I wanted a more general and broad stereotype to deal with. So, here you have my search results and I will answer all of these questions below.

1. Do Asian people see less?

No, we see more. Because of the slant in our eyes, we see everyone as being fat and skewed horizontally.

2. Do Asian people eat dog?

Not in America! Jesus, I hope not. In America, dogs are our domestic pets. We love our dogs! However, in other countries, all different cultures of people eat dog meat, including people in Asian countries. If you were to visit a Korean restaurant, you may find dog meat as an entree, but the meat used in the restaurants are of a particular breed of dog raised for consumption by humans, no different from chickens raised for KFC. You would have to research each country to determine their culture and belief over the consumption of dog meat.

3. Do Asian people eat cat?

See number 2 above.

4. Do Asian people celebrate Christmas? 

It depends on an individual's religious beliefs whether they celebrate Christmas, not their ethnicity. Many Asians practice other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc. However, people in other religions do celebrate Christmas. With widespread commercialism and the prospect of receiving gifts, it is hard NOT to celebrate Christmas.

5. Do Asian people get drunk faster?

An estimated one out of three people in East Asian countries have an alcohol flush reaction, colloquially known as "Asian Glow", a condition where the body metabolizes alcohol nearly 100-times more efficiently into acetaldehyde, a toxic metabolite. Flushing, or blushing, is associated with the erythema (reddening caused by dilation of capillaries) of the face, neck, and shoulder, after consumption of alcohol. In other words, they don't get drunk faster, but they are more likely to have this reaction.

The rate with which a person gets drunk is based on tolerance, not ethnicity. However, differences in tolerance levels are also influenced by socio-economic and cultural difference including diet, average body weight, and patterns of consumption.

6. Do Asian people age well?

God, I hope so! I'm coming up on another 10-year stretch, so thank goodness my eyes have gone first. I try to eat well, exercise, and use plenty of moisturizer. But, hey, we can't stay young forever. Most of the differences you might find in Asian culture, with respect to aging, are skin care and diet. Stay out of the sun and eat plenty of pickled veggies and fish!

7. Do Asian people eat cheese?

If they like it, sure! What kind of cheese? I like Cheddar cheese on my tacos, but I like Swiss with ham. In addition, Mozzarella, not Pepper Jack, belongs in lasagna. Pssh, do Asians like cheese? We like to hear the word when we pull out our cameras. "Say cheese!"

8. Do Asian people have curly hair?

For the most part, Asian people have straight, dark hair. It's part of genetics. However, when mixed with other gene pools, the offspring could likely have curly hair. Nobody is ever happy with how they were originally created. When I was a teenager, I got up every morning and curled my hair for school. Other girls with curly hair would get up every morning and straighten theirs. Who cares about my hair anyway? Is it going to raise my Asian IQ any higher than it already is?

9. Do Asian people tan?

Is this question asking if Asian people participate in the ritual of lying upon a blanket on the beach and exposing themselves to the harmful rays of the sun? Or is it asking if Asian people have skin which will turn a darker shade when exposed to the sun? The answer to the first is, that is an individual decision, not tied to a person's ethnicity. The answer to the second depends. If said Asian had a skin pigmentation disorder, I don't know. I will turn darker when exposed to the sun. I haven't been told that I have any skin pigmentation disorders, so my guess is that I tan and it is normal.

10. Do Asian people have body hair?

We're not born as hairy as the average Neanderthal, but we are born with a certain amount of body hair. Again, this is genetics. When mixed with other gene pools, the likelihood of an Asian offspring having more body hair increases.

I am happy to have dispelled any stereotypes which may (or may not) be out there about Asian people. I don't represent all Asian people, and this post is more based on my own opinion and experience with Asians and their culture, having had more exposure than the average NON Asian. So, if there's anything inaccurate about what I wrote, I don't really care. I'll just have to refer you to Google!

Have you ever had to dispel a stereotype? Was your attempt to educate received well, or has it been your experience people wish to remain ignorant and completely disregard what you say?