Saturday, October 16, 2010

Et Tu, Child?

A girl about the age of three approached me, pointed to an Asian boy across the way and said, "that's your kid." I said, "actually, that is not my kid. But that one is." And pointed to my daughter who was at a water fountain. The girl looked back and forth, stared blankly at me as if to say "what are you talking about?" then ran off.

My daughter doesn't look very Japanese, so I'll give her that. But I've actually run into this a lot teaching and being around white kids and they actually think all Asians are related. Especially if there is one Asian adult and a child--to them, it's a no brainier that we should be family.

My tactic has been to sit on my hands so that I don't punch them in the mouth. They don't know. Yet.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dude, that is NOT my name

On more than one occasion, people have called me "Kim." This is after I have told them my name. Which is nowhere near Kim. One of them was a college professor in an acting class which only had about 12 people.

In my elementary school English class, we used text books such as Dick and Jane. In one of them, there was a picture of an Asian girl and her name was Kim. Jet black hair with a very harsh bob, slanty eyes, the whole deal. Sometimes, it was an Asian boy and HIS name was Kim. I used to think "is that what we look like?" Perhaps this is where it's coming from. I have known some Kims in my life, and they all have been white--or Asians with the LAST NAME of Kim. I am not saying that there are no Asian women with the first name of Kim, but when people have called me Kim, I couldn't help but to feel "Oriental." I felt like what they were seeing was that picture from that book. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

On a different note, my legal first name is Mina. I don't go by this name (my parents gave me a nick name that I go by), but when a telemarketer call, they ask for Mina. Except they can't pronounce it right. They say, "Myna." OK. How do you pronounce T-i-n-a, or better yet G-i-n-a? Seriously people. Stop panicking. Just say it like it's spelled.

Epilogue: my husband is white. Very white. And on more than one occasion, people have called him "Patrick." That is not his name. And these were white people saying it. I guess he just looks like a Patrick, whatever that means. Racial assumptions are color blind. Awwww.