Something has baffled me for awhile now, and I’m wondering if anyone else can shed some light on this. In following the Deadly Viper controversy that emerged last week, I was reminded once again, that when Americans refer to “Asian”, they really mean “East Asian” (i.e. China, Korea, Japan, etc.) South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.) is really left completely out of the discussion, as evidenced by this website – I browsed a bit and everything was rooted in East Asian cultures. A simple Google Image search turns up almost all photos showing East Asians.
Whenever I teach, I generally try to refer to ‘East Asia’ or ‘South Asia’ because while the areas have some things in common, there’s a lot of culture that they don’t share. I hear my family refer to themselves at times as “Asian”, but they don’t ever seem to be ‘counted’ in the Asian discussion – this is reserved for East Asians. I’m not passing judgment on either side – just questioning something I don’t understand very well. Has anyone else ever wondered this? Is there history to it?