It seems that using the name Asian to describe orientals is all the rage. Especially amongst the younger, more with it crowd. I think the name came from the oriental community, itself.
Sometimes I am all for people defining themselves. But when they do this while stepping on the toes of others, I am no longer for it. I’m against the Asian example in particular.
Asia is the largest of all the continents. It’s not surprising that it is also the most ethnically diverse of all the continents. It has Orientals in the east, Indians in the south, Turks in the west, Russians in the north and Eskimos in the far north. And what the bleep are Ainu? Apparently they are light skinned people of Japan but are also not closely related to the European Caucasian.
Orientals being called Asians just has too much of an expansionist flavour to it. Perhaps that is their intent. Perhaps they have the long term goal of owning every last bit of territory in Asia. Thousands of years from now when this is all complete, future people might look on us as wilfully ignorant for not seeing the threat. “They even told you. How daft can you be?” the future historians will ask.
As you can tell by my frequent use of the name Oriental, I am a living fossil of 43. Maybe we could use this term even if it is a bit old. But then again I’ve looked in my dictionary and the Orient means anything east of Europe. That’s why the famous train route is called the Orient Express even though it ends in just Istanbul. Granted my dictionary says especially east Asia. But Orientals may take this as meaning they have the right to all of Asia and Australia. They might develop this idea to be their manifest destiny.
So, for a non expansionist world, I think it’s best to call the largest ethnicity of the east, East Asians. In fact, to me, this goes back to my University days where York U. had an East Asian Studies. They knew how to name. You can call higher learning pretentious but sometimes it is just right when dealing with a sensitive issue.
And if East Asians don’t like this conciliatory name then perhaps we can divide them. Maybe East Asians ought to be called Han Chinese. Ethnically Han Chinese make up 1.2 billion people and are considered to be the largest ethnic group in the world. With this moniker, other East Asians might realize that the expansionist games can be played a different way.
So now please can we take a less threatening stance toward Indians, Russians, Turks, Eskimos, Ainu and even Australians. Especially since some of them have the atomic bomb.