Fad cultures

Asians are SO hot right now.

At least they are for me. Previously in my circle of influence, I was familiar with Latin American, European, and American culture (or subcultures thereof). But I’d never had any asian friends. Close friends, that is. Not so odd, I think, because UMBC is notorious for Asians keeping to themselves and the Anime club was full of white people. Then, after I graduated, I found the Asian supermarket near my house to have the best prices of produce (makes you wonder where they get it from bieng so cheap), and as I’m a voracious herbivore I started going there. I would like to say that that opened up a new culture for me, but although I made it my policy to try one new food each time I went there, I also had a policy (for safety reasons!) of not buying anything without an English translation on the package, so I really did feel limited by my language capability.

But then I met some Asians. Filipinos, to be exact. To be sure, their culture is very distinct from other Asian cultures, but they have become the first asians that i can say I know well. Two of my TKD instructors are Filipino (Mr. C makes a point of it, in fact, to tell whatever newbie comes by for class that TKD is Korean, but he is Filipino. Us white people wouldn’t know the difference otherwise.). The best Arnis fighter at the school is also Filipino. Before knowing them, asians were simply friendly faces, but I was never attracted to them nor their culture. Now, there is a mystique about them that fascinates me and is so attractive to me. Thier faces look like marble statues, and they have jet black hair that often shimmers with shades of blue. Thier features look so purposefully placed on thier faces, as if God fitted the eyes, nose, and mouth from below in order to not disturb thier flawless skin.

And thier culture has come alive for me in an explosion of colors. Thier written languagees look to me like mysterious hyroglyphics, and its direction brings a sense of the vertical to writing that I had never even thought about. Their foods- geez where do I even begin! I can’t say I like all asian food, but all of the vegetables that they use impresses me. It seems that they make better use of the resources they have- eating all parts of the fish, all parts of the vegetable.

And then there’s the quirks. Like, I had no idea that they get red when drinking and can’t handle thier alcohol. When my filipino friend told me this, I laughed at him, until i realized that he got a tad offended. Whoops.

But, although I am quite happily taken up by the mystique of this culture (or the variety of asian cultures) I know that once I become familiar with the good and bad, quirks and strengths of these people, they too will lose that mystery and will become- for better or worse- just people, like me. This is why I say it is a fad race.

But, what I really want to know is- does anybody else have a fad race/culture? I figure that with the twisted view on the world that we have {exoticism} it is only natural that we whites experience this. But you minorities, do you have fad cultures?


7 Responses

  1. I (a Filipino) notice different types of Filipinos. This may apply to other Asian cultures, but I’m not 100% sure. There are Filipino Filipinos, cliquey Filipinos, and adapted Filipinos. Filipino Filipinos doesn’t apply to all Asians. In the Philippines, they kind of have “fad cultures.” It has been going on for a long time though. Because the Americans liberated the Philippines from Spanish rule and came to their aid in WWII, many Filipinos like white people. Seriously. It’s like, “OOH! A WHITE PERSON!” At one of the tournaments, one of out competitors was out for a run, and a stranger went up to him and asked if he wanted to marry his daughter. And he was serious. When they found out I was an American, a mother, who I didn’t know, looked at her son and asked if he wanted to touch me. They love the white people, particularly the Americans.

    The cliquey Filipinos is something common in many Asian cultures. Examples of this are the Asian clubs at UMBC that keep to themselves. VERY cliquey. It’s not just at colleges. My dad experiences the same thing when he’s out with other Filipinos. They will completely ignore anyone else who talks to them. My dad says they’re being ridiculous and befriends the stranger. Filipinos themselves are cliquey. The have a sort of caste system. It’s not official, but it is pretty much enforced by the cliquey Filipinos. Rich ones will limit their conversations to poorer ones, and completely ignore the class that is stereotypically destitute. I attended two Filipino club meetings. I introduced myself, they gave me a look, said hi, and shifted their circle that i stood on the outskirt of into a slight semicircle where no one could face me. This is very particular of older Filipinos too or Filipinos that have strong Filipino roots and values. They see themselves higher than other people because they “worked” to get to where they are. So, they do not work to change themselves or adapt to the changing times. Therefore, they are lost when it comes to new concepts. A few years ago, there was a wave of “Asian Pride” which later broke off into particular races like “Pinoy Pride” (Pinoy is like the n word. We can use it, you can’t). My family saw it as a little, “okay” form of racism. People would purposely pick friends of their own race and exclude others that weren’t. A lot of other Asians won’t notice themselves, but if they are told they have to work w/ someone not Asian, they have a little sneer. It’s quite annoying. This is very common in older generations. They are very judgmental. “White people are fat and lazy, but rich.” “It’s a black person with tinted windows! He’s a drug dealer” It’s ridiculous.

    The last type of Filipino is the adapting kind. This is what we have at kick connection. We are the ones that don’t judge on the color of your skin. We judge someone’s character. There are a lot of Asians like this. They just have to break away from that group mentality. These people are generally more successful in the world. We get along with other people and have no qualms about interacting with them.

  2. Minority racism, from an American white person’s perspective, is the most baffling thing. My immediate reaction is always “What? Why on earth are you being racist? Don’t you know you’re a minority? I’m supposed to be the racist here, not you!”

    I suppose if I were a cop or social worker or someone with intimate contact with lower class minorities I would be able to see it more for what it really is- just ugly inhumane sin. For me it’s simply laughable (which might have patronistic roots, with me not taking minority racism seriously. I’ll have to search my soul on that one).

    The first time I was presented with this was when speaking with the Uruguayan janitor at work during the primary elections. He was explaining how Hillary was getting the majority of the Hispanic vote because many Hispanics are suspicious of blacks (because many compete for the same jobs and social services, and due to gang wars). All of which is silly to me, because “Hispanic” isn’t a race anyway! There’s white, black, asian, indian, and mestizo (mixed) Hispanics.

    Good grief you minorities. Stop hatin on each other. Just let us whites be the racists like we’re supposed to be. Then maybe your hatred of a common enemy will unite you. It might just make America a more peaceful place.

  3. Heh. It sounds like you’re promoting civil war.

  4. You may have your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek, but not everyone will interpret what you write as sarcasm. Caution and discretion … valuable virtues.

  5. You’re right. For the record, I’m bieng totally sarcastic.

  6. And you can’t spell “being”. You keep spelling it “bieng”.

    Well, you know me. I love Aussies. They might as well be another race, anyway. I’m actually really fascinated with people who are mixed, like this girl I met who is half Cuban. She was SOOOO beuatiful!!! Dark skin, blue eyes, tall, skinny, and her hair was wavy and gold.

  7. I dunno, I guess I’ve never given much thought to race. All races and cultures have their good points and bad points, but honestly for me, “there’s no place like home” – in with your own culture.

    For me, race is far less important than culture. I wouldn’t choose to hang out with a gang-member, inner-city gangsta white boy, while I’d have no problem becoming friends with good Christian blacks or Asians or Hispanics (especially if they share our American culture and way of thinking).

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