Monday, October 27, 2008

Are You...

What I find to always be an interesting subject of conversation is ethnicity - specifically Asians (most probably because I am one). Asians (especially Chinese/HK-Asians!!) are nosy. They always seem to want to know where exactly other Asians are from and always love to guess. I'm fascinated because it involves stereotypes -- what features/way of dress/style is associated with which part of Asia? To me, I believe I can tell the general difference between where someone is from, but it's a description that's really hard to define using words.
Would you get offended if they guessed wrong? It depends on your mindset - if you're not biased towards certain ethnicities/countries, then I can't see why you would be. Do you think where/the way you were born or raised has a lot to do with it? Is there really such thing as having more Westernized features if you were born here? Maybe the food you eat and your environment shapes facial features or height. Or not? To me, SooYoung from SNSD doesn't look very Korean. She looks like she could fit in as a Canadian really easily here in Vancouver. Ah so pretty. Her (left) and HoYeon (middle, blonde) have the most Westernized features out of all of them. If I were to see them on the streets, I'd assume they could speak English perfectly, but that's not the case.
During 1st and 2nd year of uni, I was thought to be Korean a lot, mixed in with a few random Japanese guesses, and then I got Chinese as the backup-guess. Now, especially at work, it's been "are you Taiwanese?!" every single time (over 20). But I don't know if it's because they know Posh is Taiwanese-owned or not though... but it got me thinking, what DO stereotypical Taiwanese girls look like anyway? I'm still not clear... dyed hair? High maintenance? That's just what I think.. When I was in Asia, I don't think anyone really doubted I wasn't from China/HK (but I wouldn't know... I didn't really talk to them directly b/c of language obstacles)... (actually, except for that Uncle in that Malaysian waterpark, thought B and I were Korean).

What "Are you...?"s do you get?

1 comment:

Ami said...

I get Korean almost 100% of the time. People say it's the way I dress, some say the way I do my make up, but I'm all HK.

I can spot a HK girl from across the street. Besides style, I find Asian girls typically have a different walk. And Chinese girls walk differently than Korean and also Japanese. It is very hard to describe it without sounding a bit ignorant.

When I went to HK to visit, people knew right away I'm from oversea. They said I was too polite. LOL I guess that's a giveaway too.