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  1. #11
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Maybe you could try not to project your own insecurities onto other people. I don't feel superior at all, particularly in regard to my own views. I'm raising some questions and am interested in what other people think, because their views could alter my own. Just because I put some effort into my post doesn't mean I think I'm better than anyone else. I just wrote "the response is overwhelming" because there weren't any responses to my latest post.

    Also, I think I'd get better responses if you didn't post. What's the point of decrying someone's thread as 'boring'. Just don't post if the topic doesn't interest you.

    Lastly, I was having some fun talking about the lack of responses. Most of the time, people are very quick to post on practically any subject matter on this forum, regardless of its complexity or depth. I wasn't 'really' complaining. There's an element of sarcasm involved. Maybe it's my fault for not putting <sarcasm> up there, or are light-hearted quips no longer kosher according to some Madmins?


    I didn't decry your thread as boring and I'm sorry you interpreted it that way. I started to type out a longer response with examples regarding MTV's Asian programming, then my wikipedia poking revealed that my examples didn't really back up what I was trying to say, so I ended up typing only that one sentence which was boring.

    This IS an interesting topic and I'm currently brewing up a response in depth, but your "gosh, only CC really gets what I'm saying here" (not true, I get it, it just takes me a little longer to articulate myself sometimes) is discouraging. Sometimes you have to wait longer than a few hours to get a good response.
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  2. #12
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    That's my question. I'll inveigh once people respond...

    Perhaps this is your problem. Inveigh means to protest strongly or attack vehemently with words; to rail against (eg, isolationism).
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  3. #13
    Senior Member edel weiss's Avatar
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    1) What is an Asian 'intensionally', in other words, what is the definition or 'essence' of being Asian? In other words, this is the question asking "WHY" do we call someone an Asian.
    I'd think anyone who lives in Asia is an Asian. But I've noticed that the West has a tendency to refer to the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans. We Indians seem to be left out.

    The essence of being Asian... Gosh, er, non-whites, living in, or from Asia? The problem is that there are different races populating Asia, but we're all still essentially Asian.

    3) Once we've 'understood', according to each poster, or each group of like-minded posters, what Asians are... can we justify using "Asian" as more than a geographical marker, provided the geographical issues are sorted out? Meaning, can we possibly assert an "Asian" culture? Or are there regions in Asia which are so different from each other that the "Asian" culture breaks down upon analysis?
    Yes, there is an 'Asian' culture. Yes, regions are very different from each other. There's an enormous amount of diversity. Taking only India, ('cause that's what I know), nobody really knows the number of languages spoken. Including dialects and tribal languages, there are up to a thousand or more different languages. Compund that with about a hundred different castes, each having their own traditions, and you're in for a potpourri of an area.

    It's complicated. Asia is more a cultural concept incorporating a number of diversified and yet similar regions and peoples than a homogeneous geographical mass.

    Europe would never come in. Most people would never even consider it. Europe is far too different, historically and culturally.


    3a) Which groups are excluded from Asia? WHY? Is it a consistent system of dividing the world up into continents and, moreover, major cultural groups?
    Eh, I don't really know. But I think that we tend to think of the Eastern side of Asia as Asia, rather than the far west, like Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    And I never really thought of Russia as Asian either.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    1) What is an Asian 'intensionally', in other words, what is the definition or 'essence' of being Asian? In other words, this is the question asking "WHY" do we call someone an Asian.
    I'd call someone Asian if their ancestors came from Asia. That seems pretty straightforward to me.

    2) What is an Asian 'extensionally', in other words, if there were a set of all Asian objects-which-are-also-people, where would they be from? So this is more along the lines of, if I asked you to point out some Asians to me, you'd ostend in a certain direction and show me them, without necessarily explaining the 'why'.
    Where would they be from? Uhhh, Asia.

    3) Once we've 'understood', according to each poster, or each group of like-minded posters, what Asians are... can we justify using "Asian" as more than a geographical marker, provided the geographical issues are sorted out? Meaning, can we possibly assert an "Asian" culture? Or are there regions in Asia which are so different from each other that the "Asian" culture breaks down upon analysis?
    Asia is huge and too diverse to say there's an 'Asian culture'.

    I think sometimes people say Asian when they mean Oriental (which is not politically correct to say anymore) or Far Eastern. Asian is more politically correct, probably because it has so little meaning (less likely to be offensive).

    3a) Which groups are excluded from Asia? WHY? Is it a consistent system of dividing the world up into continents and, moreover, major cultural groups?
    Excluded? Uhhh, Africans, Europeans, Americans, Australians. That sounds about right, doesn't it?

    Dividing up the world based on continents may not be the best way to do it, but any border you choose is going to be subjective and arbitrary. I don't see any reason to get hung up on it. I don't get upset when people call me white or European (decent), even though I'm actually Irish/Scottish/Cherokee/German. It doesn't matter.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #15
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    You forgot Antarcticans!
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  6. #16
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Okay... I think my initial intuition was right... I need to guide this a bit more... only CC and Owl really went where I wanted the conversation to go... but let me address some statements and then bring up some problems.
    Why do you need to guide it? Ask and wait a while for people to respond and then let them take the thread into unknown territories. Much better that way, rather than having people agree with me.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  7. #17
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    Oh brother Im not even bothering with this one.

  8. #18
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Asian? Easy:

    -_-

  9. #19
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Asian? Easy:

    -_-
    ROR!!!
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

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  10. #20
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    In my mind Asia is a continent that stretches from the Ural mountains in the West to the sea, basically, in the north, east and south. Contains most of Russia (though possibly the least populated part of Russia, most of the people being on the European side of the mountains, I believe), lots of countries that end with 'stan' that I won't start to list because there are lots and it'd be boring, the Indian subcontinent, China and Thailand and their neighbouring countries and islands which I also won't go into naming (but do know most of, honestly).

    That's what it is geographically speaking.

    I guess 'Asian' could mean a number of things, depending on the context. If I said 'Asian wildlife' I'd be talking about animals that are indigenous to the land mass I described above. if I said 'Asian people' I'd probably mean people who live in that area, same for 'Asian culture', with the acknowledgement that this is a very generic term for an extremely wide and diverse number of different cultures, languages, ethnicities, religions, political systems etc, but all having in common that they are, apart from Japan, financially poorer countries than the majority of Western European countries. The reason I'd make that comparison is because I'm a native of Western Europe and one tends to naturally compare things to that which is familiar. Even people who have Si as inferior like me

    The most contact I have with Asia comes indirectly through immigrants from different parts of it who live in my hometown. Working closely with religious leaders in the area and also having grown up in an area near London where 90&#37; of the population is non-white, I was one of only three white kids in my class at one of the schools I went to, I've spent a lot of time with people from Asia, predominantly India, Pakistan, China, Korea and Malaysia. They're all very different and look very different, just as I'd expect of people whose homelands are many hundreds of miles apart from each other, just as I look, sound and think differently to say, someone from the other side of Europe. There are good people and some real assholes, but no different proportionally I'd say than people from anywhere else. Through these people I've been exposed to a lot of Asian media, mainly from Bollywood and Chinese/Korean cinema and music. I've also learned to speak a smattering of Urdu, Hindi and Mandarin.

    My overriding impression when I think of Asia is "fascinating" and "wonderful".

    There is also an awareness that there are a lot of people who are either from, or whose parents are from Asian countries, living in Western countries, who still identify as Asian even to third or fourth generation. I understand it must be difficult to live in a place where you're cut off, in a way, from the traditions and culture of your ancestors, but this IMO is no different than white Americans being 'displaced' from their European ethnic homelands.

    I personally include Russia and Turkey in my mental map of Europe. I get very riled up when local residents contest the building of a mosque or Hindu temple in our town. It's so damned hypocritical. To my mind, the people who want these things are no less human than I am, therefore their human right to freedom of worship is no different. I just don't see how there can even be a case for humouring this kind of obvious prejudice. I've never seen anyone contesting the building of a church. Not that there've been many, since no bugger goes any more.

    Oh, and one final thing, is that I've noticed that when Americans say 'Asian' they seem to mean people from the Far East. While in Britain, it's usually Indians and Pakistanis that jump to people's mind when they hear the word 'Asian'. I think that's possibly because those are the places whence each country respectively has the most immigrants. Perhaps, though I'm not totally sure about that. I do know you see a lot more Indians and other Central Asians in the UK than people from the Far East.

    Yeah, I'll shut up now.
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