(What kind of Asian are you?) Strangers make racial remarks to me frequently, almost as frequently as they acknowledge me for being an ovulating homo-sapien as I take the bus or the subway in New York City. But if you are just trying to start a friendly conversation, “Are you Korean?” may not be your best choice. It doesn’t translate very well with me because this is what I think it means. “Even though I didn’t grow up with many Asian people around, I still know that there are different cultures within the Asian culture. So I better let her know that I know that.” Or “My last girlfriend was from Korea. And you look like you could be her sister." Whichever the case, there is nothing wrong with asking this question. I just don't feel like talking to you. No one thinks it's an offensive question, right? Well, you might be surprised. I have to say it's one of the most delicate topics among Asians. Despite the fact that DNA studies show our close ties,
Jazz composer and violinist Meg Okura her thoughts on religion, culture, race, motherhood and all that jazz from her immigrant, Jewish, woman, Japanese, ex-Evangelical, and black family perspectives.