Cominc asian american culture when will asian american

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Unformatted text preview: example, the interaction of African Americans and European Americans produced blues, gospel, and jazz. Hispanic Americans (already an ethnic and racial blend of indigenous, African, and European peoples) have produced mariachi, salsa, and Tejano. Asian Americans have not yet produced a recognizable, uniquely American music that is equivalent to Jazz or Tejano, but such an observation does not take into account several critical issues. To begin to develop some understanding of the complexity of these issues, we must first identify what is meant by “Asian American.” Origin of Term “Asian American” The term Asian American was first adopted in the late 1960’s at a time when two- thirds of the Asians in the United States had been born here. (Today the statistics are reversed, and over two- thirds of Asians are foreign- born immigrants.) Having been born here, they felt more connected to their “Americaness” than to their ancestral homelands. The term also developed within the context of the Civil Rights movement. In the 1960s it had a political resonance that implied progressive social goals and a stand against the United States involvement in South East Asia. The Chinese American and 1 About Us, 2001 About.Com,Inc. Asian- American Culture. “When Will Asian- American Music Get Its Turn?” Moderated by Ada Lio. Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 3 Japanese American communities, which had been socially and politically distant from each other since World War II (during which time China and Japan were enemies), began a dialogue using the title “Asian American” to imply a common ground. As time progressed, the term Asian American came to suggest not a political vantage point, but rather that the person so designated was of Asian heritage. Yet what constitutes the boundaries of Asia is confusing and disputed, and from any vantage point, includes a large number of distinctly different countries. Immigrants from these countries find the term “Asian American” odd, as they don’t necessarily see or feel much kinship with immigrants from other Asian countries. Diversity of Asian Americans The title “Asian American” is currently used in the United States to define a wide range of ethnic groups that have arrived in America from “Asia.” Asia is the largest of the earth’s seven continents, covering about one- third of the world’s total land area and containing about three- fifths of the world’s population. Because of its great size and diversity, it is often further divided both geographically and culturally. The five major geographic subdivisions include over thirty distinct nations. For example “East Asia” includes the nations of China, Korea and Japan. “Southeast Asia” consists of nations such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. “South Asia” includes nations such as India and Pakistan. Southwest Asia includes Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Finally, “North Asia” includes the nations of the former Soviet Union. Culturally, some of these nations (such as China and Japan) are considered “Asian,” while others (such as Russia and Israel) are not. Significantly, Australia and New Zealand are geographically located in Asia, but no popular definition includes these nations as part of Asia. Thus “Asian Americans” are extremely diverse, and although there is a large Asian American population, it is not necessarily a “community.” The obstacles to drawing them together range from language and religion to historical rivalries and experiences immigrating to the United States. Asian American leaders have been frustrated by the lack of solidarity that is often found in black and Latino communities. T...
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