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Showing posts from April, 2014

Why “Are you Korean or Japanese?” Is Not a Good Pickup Line

(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,