Vannie Sung’s latest submission is about latitudinal differences between Asians in their own countries. There is definitely a divide that keeps Asians everywhere (especially in areas torn by war and ideology) from achieving true unity because they are so caught up in upholding their own cultural identities. Vannie poses a larger question at the end– can people co-exist with NO boundaries and maintain unique identities? Read this post and give us your opinion or experiences.
As I’ve mentioned before about alleged regional stereotypes between the West and East Coast here in the United States (see “East vs. West Coast Asian-Americans), it seems that there exist differences between the North and the South in Asian countries as well.
Imagine you’re filling out a survey and you come to the question that tells you to check off your race and/or ethnicity. Usually if the form is specific, we see these options “Asian” (usually applies if you’re from China, Japan, Thailand, etc.) and the separate option for “South Asian” ( associated with India, Pakistan, Nepal, etc.). Of course, then there’s the apparent split between North and South Korea (don’t forget Vietnam).
Regarding stereotypes, I’ve heard a few that appear to exist almost everywhere in relation to the northern and southern regions. For example, “Southern Indians are darker”, or “Those in southern Japan speak slower.” This is what I’ve managed to find on Wikipedia, distinguishing northern and southern China. Keeping in mind that these are after all, stereotypes, and that my research is coming from a questionable source (I admit, Wikipedia is convenient for research, but dangerously unreliable), I’ve taken all of this information with a grain of salt. However, having read the “Stereotypes” section on that webpage, I can see how a Chinese Northerner “eats more noodles, dumplings, and wheat-based foods rather than rice-based foods”.
Once again, when we attempt to classify a region, do the stereotypes work for or against us? Between the North and the South, can we co-exist with no boundaries-yet maintain a unique identity?
We hope to hear your responses and discussions because this will help clear up why people are so dissonant even though they are from the same countries and cultures.
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