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Old 08-24-2008, 12:18 PM
 
14 posts, read 97,350 times
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I live in U.S Mainland eastercoast. Far far away from Hawaii. I've heard warnings about Hawaii. However, this is a sensitive subject, but here in the mainland Asian Americans are the miniority of miniorities. We don't really have voice in social or political or even day-to-day issues. (I am not saying there are no exceptions to it, but usually it is the opinions of majority or more dominant group that wins out). There are problems Asian Amerians have to live with in the Mainland. Some of problems create polorizations within Asian American community so that Asian American men and women become divided, and end up liviing different lives with different opions and ideas.

I know that there is no such thing as a perfect place to live on Earth. Hawaii is called as a "Paradise" or "Paradise Islands, but I trust that is a minomer. I trust lives in Hawaii is certainly not walk in the park.

However, I am curious about what may be the differences in life for Asian Americans in Hawaii than their counterparts in U.S. Mainlands? I know that Hawaii is a majority miniority state with Asians being the majoirty even though Asian population seem to be on decline. Does being in Asian majoirty islands make life any different for Asians? Does it create better (maybe not necessarily more) opportunities professionally/personally, less negative emotions about being overall ethnic miniority, different life perspective or any anything else?

I heard that African-Americans in Hawaii tend to have less negtative feelings toward Whites than African-Americans in U.S. mainland. Is it kind of similar for Asian Americans so they end up feeling different about U.S. and life in general.

I expect opinions will vary, and it will be divisive, but please offer your experience and thoughts. Thank you, and the best of luck for you in this sojourn on earth.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,774 posts, read 20,723,737 times
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In Hawaii you won't be labeled as "Asians" for one. We can't tell the haoles apart and all the white folk are put in one mass group but we can tell Japanese from Chinese from Korean, etc. Folks might be a bit confused finding a Nihon acting like a mainland person, though. We had a mainland person of 100% Japanese descent move into our neighborhood and it was really strange since the person didn't act like we expected at all. She didn't like the chickens in the neighborhood and didn't act as part of any group. She didn't like rice and couldn't use hashi. Didn't go to the obon dance. Very strange. She decided within about six weeks that she'd be happier somewhere else and moved to Montana or Minnesota or somewhere on the mainland that started with an "M".
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Hi hotzcatz,
Thanks for your reply. I think Asians do have a problem of tendancy to be divided among themselves. We differentiate Chinese, Phillipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnames..... Of course, we don't do it overtly, but I think that's one of the reasons that Asians tend to be shadowed out in mainstream American society. That clearly doesn't seem to be case among Caucasians or African Americans. Causcasians don't care if another Causcasian is a Norwegian, or Brit or French. Difference in ancestral nationality doesn't matter among Caucasians, and the likewise for African-Americans. They don't care if it's Somali, Sudanese or Nigerian. They are better unified than Asians from my observation.
I am reading between lines in your reply, but if I'm not mistaken in Hawaii, people of Asian ancestry seem to draw dividing line based on their ancestral nationality such as Korean, Japanses, or Chinese? I would have to say that is not good, but am I right about what I'm thinking of Asian society in Hawaii?
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:56 PM
 
1,046 posts, read 4,610,306 times
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I first experienced this when in my just-out-of-college clerical job in Washington, D.C., my African-American co-workers did NOT want to get in a cab driven by an "African." Sorry, it was just too weird for my white self. I have since become skilled at distinguishing Somalis from Nigerians from South Africans, etc.. And Filipinos from Japanese, and Chinese, etc. And most recently Samoans from Tongans and Cook Islanders and Maori, etc. It's really a matter of immersion, observation, and appreciation. Takes a while to understand the subtleties. I still often cannot tell Danes from Norwegians, however.

Last edited by whynot?; 08-24-2008 at 07:08 PM.. Reason: Clarification -- I hope!
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:10 PM
 
109 posts, read 575,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chbunn View Post
Hi hotzcatz,
Thanks for your reply. I think Asians do have a problem of tendancy to be divided among themselves. We differentiate Chinese, Phillipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnames..... Of course, we don't do it overtly, but I think that's one of the reasons that Asians tend to be shadowed out in mainstream American society. That clearly doesn't seem to be case among Caucasians or African Americans. Causcasians don't care if another Causcasian is a Norwegian, or Brit or French. Difference in ancestral nationality doesn't matter among Caucasians, and the likewise for African-Americans. They don't care if it's Somali, Sudanese or Nigerian. They are better unified than Asians from my observation.
I am reading between lines in your reply, but if I'm not mistaken in Hawaii, people of Asian ancestry seem to draw dividing line based on their ancestral nationality such as Korean, Japanses, or Chinese? I would have to say that is not good, but am I right about what I'm thinking of Asian society in Hawaii?

Aloha chbunn, I am sure you would be welcome in Hawaii, so don't be discouraged. Hawaii would be the place, where you would feel the least amount of discrimination being Asian. I have Asian people in my family and they were college educated on the mainland and always find it easier to live in Hawaii as a Asian American. People will accept you if you accept them. If you feel it is unpleasant where you are at, then try to get a job here first!
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,774 posts, read 20,723,737 times
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Aloha Chbunn,

There aren't a lot of dividing lines drawn, at least not lines drawn by race. There are social differences between say vegans and omnivores or townies and country folk and dividing lines between longboarders versus shortboards and boogie boards versus body surfers, sport bikers and harley folks, etc. I'd say the biggest dividing line is between mainlanders and locals although that disappears if the mainland person doesn't have a pushy mainland attitude. Frequently folks come over from the mainland and expect us to want to change to be like the mainland. I guess they don't think how they would feel if we moved to their city and tried to change them to Hawaii. There are also a lot of differences between tourists and folks who live here but generally folks are nice to tourists. Tourists are a lot like the tide, they come in, they go out, there will be more in a bit. It's hard to get personal with them since they will be gone so soon.

Folks do notice race around here and it is frequently used as an identifier. "What, your haole neighbor? Naw, da kine Filipino one wen give 'em ta me. His tree choke lychee dis year." Nothing derogatory in it, it is generally just a handy identifier.

A hui hou!
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:06 AM
 
36 posts, read 296,293 times
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Being Asian American and having recently moved to Oahu, it doesn't feel that different being "in the majority". Probably the biggest difference is the abundance of Asian foods everywhere, even in Walmart. We came from the San Francisco Bay Area, which does have a large Asian population, but the Asian population make-up here is different. I noticed there are less Chinese people here, more Japanese, Filipino and Korean. I'm used to being in an area of a lot of different races, so it's not that different. But there is a more "at home" feeling to it, because Asian culture seems to be the norm here. Big plus for us is all the great Japanese food to be had here

It's true that we um classify ourselves into different Asian races, but we do that everywhere, regardless of geographic location. It's not inherently negative, it's just something people do to recognize the cultural differences.
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