Did the title of my last post strike you as slightly odd? "American Korean." Not "Korean-American." Of course, you know I wrote that intentionally. No hypheNations for me.

What would I call my husband? A Swiss/Scotch-Irish-American? A White-American? What if he were a Swiss immigrant? Would he still be called White-American, with unintentional implications? I'm willing to bet then, that he'd be called Swiss-American, or plain ole Swiss.

Nationality and Heritage are not the same thing.

  • I have a friend, an American now, formerly a Kenyan national, of Muslim Indian heritage.
  • Here's another one. A close friend is American of Korean ethnicity. His wife is a French national, of western European heritage. They live in Brazil. Their children are Brazilian, of Korean and French ancestry.
  • My best friend is American, of African descent.
  • I am an American, of Korean ethnicity.

I never call myself Korean-American, or Asian-American. I am American. I do not need to or want to put a "conditional" on my Americanness, as if my allegiance were half-baked. Such awkward phrases! What do I call myself? Korean. In reference to my ethnicity. Cuz I know that's what you want to know. But. Don't you dare question my nationality.



Grace said...

BRAVO! If only everyone could "get" this!

Ansley said...