Poll: What do you think makes a person a half
country of origin
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This is a really interesting topic. Through being a member of Halvise it has really opened my eyes to the diveristy within the Halvsie coomunity itself. In a sense there are different groups (although I don't mean to try and segregate us from each other). There are Halvsie children of Japanese Americans that have not been as exposed to the Japanese culture as some of the British Halvsies like Hanako, myself, Davide, Daniel for example who I think were sent to Japanese school and grew up speaking to their mothers in Japanese. Then there are other Halvsies that did not go to Japanese school but have taken an interest in learning Japanese later on in life. There are many more too.

It's a nice diverse mix here on Halvsie. I have learnt more about the Japanese interments camps and the terrible experiences they went through being imprisoned in America during WW2 because of older Halvsie members (who no longer post) but were able to talk about what their parents had experienced. I would not have known about that had they not written about it. I think we all add something to the mix.

In terms of language - for myself, learning Japanese has allowed me to learn about Japanese culture quicker than if I didn't speak the language. It's like in any situation, if you go abroad and you speak the language a bit you can actually ask the locals more questions, find out more and generally communicate your opinion more fluently.

I think maybe the running theme for all of us here on Halvsie is that we have some interest in Japan and the culture.
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Wow, how on earth did I manage to not notice this thread until now?! [Image: blink.gif] 信じられない!
So very interesting & so much I can relate to is in here. I've never "met" Strawberry around here (or anywhere else, for that matter), but it would be interesting for me, as we seem to have had very similar experiences.
I believe I've commented in a different thread in detail on how I identify, but for the record here: I'm racially 100% non-Japanese, but culturally I like to believe there's quite a bit of % in there...

Concerning my own identity, I'm on the lines of kristina and yumi.

I think what one is culturally defines fully who one is, not one's racial make up.

I've lived my whole life in Finland, and there's no doubt that I am at least to an extent Finnish culturally, though I never felt I belonged here. I think just about every single Finn has to an extent a kind of rural identity with related hobbies. Summer cottage, fishing etc. I have only been introduced to that kind of stuff but have never really gotten into it. I'm a city guy, and I don't apologize for not caring for these rustic activities. And I never spoke Finnish with my parents. My parents were, and my mom still is quite anti Finnish. I think my parents unconciously really tried to bring me up as a WASP American in some ways.

I learned Japanese from my grandmother who lived with us until I was 10. I went to Japanese Saturday school in Helsinki (which is really crap and run by lay persons) in two batches, when I was in kindergarten and later when I was in middle school. I'm quite fluent at speaking Japanese, but I don't regard myself as Japanese. I've still never lived in Japan and spent less time there cumulatively than in the UK or France. My father's never even been to Japan.

I grew up speaking English, Finnish and Japanese. I've studied loads of other languages too, initially because I was forced to by my father. With hindsight, I think it was good. So, I've been exposed to other Europeans such as French and Spaniards and been able to communicate with them in their own language at an at least acceptable level from a relatively early age. Not to speak of Brits and Americans, with whom I could communicate with in my native language. And of course I can't forget Swedes and Norwegians either.

I've listened to too much anti Finnish stuff to identify as a Finn and been too exposed to other people from an early age to live here the rest of my life, but this quite naturally can't make me a Brit, American or whatever else. And I've been too little exposed to real Japanese culture and Japan to identify as Japanese at all. I've been exposed mostly to an array of western cultures, and I identify myself as a "westener" (yeah, a tremendous generalization, I know) while not denying that I'm partly Japanese.

I'm a haafu, halvsie, whatever you wanna call it, and obviously identify myself as such too, but for me, being a halvsie is not about feeling obligated to maintain the culture of either or both parents for me or selecting to identify with either nationality or both. Doesn't mean then that I'd hate both or either one then either.

People who know my background and who identify me as Japanese talk bollocks. I'm sure it would be a lot more relevant, fair and truthful to call Japanese the people on this board who are 100% non Japanese ethnically, e.g. swiss miss, than me. But, yup, these things are much based on racialism still.
I put culture because I know some full Japanese or full Americans that are practically halfu. But I think to be whole it's also in your ethnic background. Because you can only know one language, but a person that is half Japanese and half African American really can understand their history of slavery in America. Because it's a part of them. But then a person can be half Japanese and half German, grew up in Munich all his life, may know both languages, but did not grow up in the Japanese culture.
I grew up speaking Japanese, Norwegian then English at a later stage. Most people think I am South East Asian. So if I had to vote I would have to vote Phillipino. Culture wise, I am down with both the Japanese and the Norwegian. However in Japan I spent most of my years in an international school which is a bit different than say a Japanese public school where as in Norway I went to a public school so this might make me more Norwegian in culture than Japan.
For me, "Haafu" is simply a term used to describe someone who has a Japanese parent one one side, and a parent from some other country on the other.
<!--quoteo(post=91792:date=Jun 20 2005, 02:47 PM:name=Sirena)-->QUOTE(Sirena @ Jun 20 2005, 02:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->I put
down genetics, and let me tell you why ...

Miraiz, I'm pretty much just like the person you met
except in reverse -- Japanese mom, white dad, but raised more or less totally in the white culture with just a
few touches of Japanese culture thrown in every now and then. Whenever someone flat-out asks me what my
ethnicity is, I used to answer, "My mother is from Japan." I say that because I couldn't say
honestly that I was Japanese. My mom, she's Japanese. I am, for all intents and purposes really, a
culturally white girl who has a great affection and interest in all things Japanese, a culturally white girl
with a personal connection to Japan. But I meet lots of other people who have the same kind of interest and
affection for all things Japanese who are of any Japanese ethnicity. In fact, a lot of these folks know more
about Japan than I do and actually speak Japanese! But they're not haafu, and they can't be, no
matter how much they embrace the culture or learn the language or whatever. But here I am -- fairly pig ignorant
about my mom's culture and just NOW, so late, starting to find out about it -- but I'm haafu and not
just a white girl American because of my mom. AND my dad.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
i totally agree
i think that's a good way to put it

that's not, of course, to put people who aren't biologically japanese down for loving japan!

<!--quoteo(post=91931:date=Jun 20 2005, 11:42 PM:name=yumi)-->QUOTE(yumi @ Jun 20 2005, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->@
Kristina, well said. Interesting point of view.

If I have offended some of you, I'm very sorry. But I
prefer to see people (if I had to) ethnically (-cultural elements) and not racially (-biological elements).The
world still view people in terms of race... which is a sad thing I think. I think my defition is the first step
to a race-free society. But then again, maybe my definition gives rise to cultural discrimination?? Please
everybody, I do not intend to exclude people.

I have my own personal opinion and this might change at
times. You never know! I like to play with the idea/definition. But at the moment I feel that culture is
what defines anybody (including haafus). We need to keep in mind that the term "haafu" arose within
the Japanese discourse. In Britain or American we can't say "I'm half" - right?

I'm an American citizen (and this is the only nationality I have...)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

it's wierd though, because even foreigners who have lived in japan their whole life, i don't actually think i my own mind that they are "japanese"
i thnk that's just the world that everyone has grown up in that emphasizes race and what people look like
i don't know if that's bad of me [Image: unsure.gif]

i think it's kind of nice to combine the two views on being "haafu", that it's bother culture and ethnicity
but i could resally go in many directions when it come to everyone's opinions of what it means to be haafu
i can see all sides

i actually have a second cousin who is half japanese
she's grown with children and she doesn't have any contact with her father, so culturally, she's not japanese at all..i don't think she really cares too much about learning about japan anyway

but i would still consider her to be haafu just because that's her ethnicity, and there's no way that can go away or change - one's culture can though

now that i think about it, i have italian in me..but i would never think that i'm japanese and italian..i hardly know anything about italy and NOTHING about italian culture, and nothing about me is italian, even my family (just the loud partiers part anyway) so in that respect, i would diffinately say that culture defines whether a person if haafu or not

but, like kristina said, if i had to choose, i would vote ethnicity makes a person haafu, at least that would come first on the list..then culture
because i think most people think of race before anthing else anyway..that's just how many people are i think [Image: wink.gif]
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This IS a really interesting topic!

Ive always just thought of a 'haafu' as someone who has 2 different cultured parents. Cultured being, born in 2 seperate countries. i.e. for me, Japanese Mother, English father.

Halvsie really does open your eyes to what other thoughts and opinions there are and it's been really interesting to hear what you all think.

I answered 'genetics' but reading all your posts have now made me think a bit differently.

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