This is a map of Asia. North Americans, you may notice this map is not solely comprised of Japan, Korea, China and Thailand. People in the UK, you may notice India is not a continent. That is, if those of you who generalize entire continents can even pinpoint India on a map.
Indians are Asian, gasp! And not all brown skinned people are Indian, also, gasp! There are an alarming amount of people, of all ages, from all backgrounds, who seem to be unable to process this.
I’m ethnically Asian. Since Asia is an extremely large continent, I could be from any number of countries. I am neither from India, China, Korea, Japan or Pakistan, yet not so surprisingly, I am still Asian.
Yes, there are commonalities across regions, through the conflation of cultures, colonialism, globalization, transnationalism and movement of diasporas. Sometimes these are all the same thing. Rickshaws, rice and curry can be found across the continent.
But let’s not overgeneralize. You can also find Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus across Asia. Cantonese Speaking Chinese Muslims! English Speaking Indian Jews!
No, we are not all the same. Orientalism? (Please look up Edward Said for basic concepts) No thank you.
So let’s not use umbrella terms, regarding Asians as a monolith while simultaneously denying the regional identity of millions of people- and how about we also not engage in xenophobia?
Are you someone that thinks this way? Shame on you! You should perhaps invest in buying a map, and take a look at what countries are you know, where.
Geography, people. It’s important.
For anyone out there who might not be able to see this image, it is a coloured map showing Northern Asia, Central Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, and South-Eastern Asia.
Central Asia consists of Afghanistan (debated), Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Eastern Asia consists of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Northern Asia consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia.
South Asia consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
South-Eastern Asia consists on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Brunei, Cambodia, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Western Asia consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt (debated), Georgia, Iran (debated), Iraq, Israel, Joran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.