You’re Not Alone: Hyphenated Asians Confuse Everyone – Even Asians

Asians make up one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in Canada and the United States. However, Asian immigration history started centuries ago yet there is still a lack of clear definition on how talk about it. This is reflective of a larger phenomenon – we are still building towards creating a rich repository of information on the Asian diaspora community outside of Asia. So where do we start? Let’s begin with the question: how do we want to call ourselves?

We ask, what does Asian Canadian (or however you identify yourself – Canadian or not) mean to you? What ethnicities are included in this term? Is it too broad that it becomes a meaningless category? Is it useful to make a distinction between east Asians versus south Asians? If India gets its own category, shouldn’t China? Isn’t Russia technically a part of Asia? Who even started calling Asia Asia in the first place?

Written by Leila Lee


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