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Old 10-28-2009, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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It's still probably used to varying degrees in middle America (meaning the MidWest and South). Even in Hawaii with its Asian majority, I've heard that Oriental is still used alot...

And in Europe the term is still used as well..
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:49 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,994,772 times
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Oriental is used for objects not people. When it was used it referred to East, and often Southeast, Asian peoples. Basically anyone with the epicanthic fold in the eyes. I know of times in Britain where "The Orient" started in the Mideast so Arabs would be "Orientals", but I don't think it was used that way in America in my lifetime.

In some ways I think it's unfortunate "Oriental" became offensive as "Asian" is so broad as to be pretty much worthless IMO. You might as well just call everyone "people" or "Americans" and be done with it as Asia has just about every non-African phenotype I know of. Blue-eyed Russians in Siberia are Asians, Sri Lankans are Asians, Koreans are Asians, and Lebanese are Asians. The term describes no culture, language-family, ethnicity, or "race" at all. "Oriental" was flawed too, but at least it was roughly concerned with the Sinosphere. (Area where Chinese writing or philosophy had a significant influence)
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:55 AM
 
2,915 posts, read 3,324,137 times
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Those are the same people who think all Asians are Chinese.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skinem View Post
In spite of the wishes and desires of the PC crowd, Oriental is still used, rightly or wrongly, by many people in America when referring to folks from Asia. I still hear it, usually from people over a certain age (of which I expect I belong to that age-group) and have never heard it used with the intent to disparage or belittle. I suspect that there are still many older people in this country that would be surprised that the term is viewed negatively by more and more people.

The term is also used to describe things in style or origin as well as to describe a direction or region.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,994,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theS5 View Post
Those are the same people who think all Asians are Chinese.
I remember some comedian who used it to interesting effect. He started by talking about some guys making fun of the "Oriental staff of a restaurant" than wondering if in their own company they get revenge by "making fun of their Occidental customers."

In books they sometimes make that contrast and several books I've read mention Occidentals and our Occidental ways. I'm thinking the comparison of Occidental to Oriental is one area where it might still be accepted, but I don't know.

I took a year of Chinese, my sister lives in Japan, and my priest is from Burma. I know the differences, I just find Oriental useful in some ways and almost lament its lost. Still if it upsets people it upsets them and I'm not going to be rude to perfectly innocent people just to make a point.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:36 AM
 
985 posts, read 3,265,136 times
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Thumbs up Oriental Asian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
When it was used it referred to East, and often Southeast, Asian peoples. Basically anyone with the epicanthic fold in the eyes. I know of times in Britain where "The Orient" started in the Mideast so Arabs would be "Orientals", but I don't think it was used that way in America in my lifetime.

In some ways I think it's unfortunate "Oriental" became offensive as "Asian" is so broad as to be pretty much worthless IMO. You might as well just call everyone "people" or "Americans" and be done with it as Asia has just about every non-African phenotype I know of. Blue-eyed Russians in Siberia are Asians, Sri Lankans are Asians, Koreans are Asians, and Lebanese are Asians. The term describes no culture, language-family, ethnicity, or "race" at all. "Oriental" was flawed too, but at least it was roughly concerned with the Sinosphere. (Area where Chinese writing or philosophy had a significant influence)
Thank you!
Btw, there are enough Asians with African/Black physical features. In fact, they are quite numerous in Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran (particularly in the south), and many Arab countries.
They're hardly visible in the media, but one just needs to travel to those countries and see that Black features are not uncommon amongst the natives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
Would Philippines and Indonesians be considered Oriental as well?
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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The only people I have heard in recent years use the term "Oriental" have been in California, not the Midwest (for what it's worth). And, for that matter, they were themselves Asian, at least by the broader sense of the term as it's often used now. Some former coworkers, one from India, one with parents from China, discussed the use of the term, and while they were split on whether they liked the term or not, they both agreed that "Asian" was so broad that it didn't mean much of anything.

I don't use the word and think it's outdated, but I also hate using "Asian" for much of anything, because it is practically useless as a description and because I do think that a lot of people do consider "Asian" to mean only Han Chinese.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,490 posts, read 16,178,435 times
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I only hear and use the term Oriental when describing art, rugs, etc. And it's usually in reference to items from western Asia (Turkey, the Middle East, Persia), not East Asia.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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Come to think of it, my parents used (maybe still use) it and they are from the northeast. My generation, though, says "Asian".
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Pahoa Hawaii
2,082 posts, read 4,735,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanmaster View Post
Even in Hawaii with its Asian majority, I've heard that Oriental is still used alot...
.
No it isn't. Call someone here Oriental & you risk getting punched.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:55 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,287,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanmaster View Post
It's still probably used to varying degrees in middle America (meaning the MidWest and South). Even in Hawaii with its Asian majority, I've heard that Oriental is still used alot...

And in Europe the term is still used as well..
Why would you think that? Because people in the Midwest and South aren't as educated and well-traveled? That is just as offensive and backward as using the term "oriental" in reference to people.

I haven't heard anyone use "oriental" in years, except when talking about rugs. I guess it is used to varying degrees all over the U.S. by people living under a rock.
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