ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

About Being Part Asian (Eurasian/Hapa).

Updated on May 28, 2019
Raine Law Yuen profile image

Raine has interest in exploring the intersections between East and West, A South African Born Chinese with two children of mixed ancestry.

A post about what to know about being part Asian/Eurasian/Hapa.
A post about what to know about being part Asian/Eurasian/Hapa. | Source

How does a person with mixed ethnic roots define cultural boundaries and express the ideal self?

Definition of Identity.

How one defines oneself is crucial because an acceptable definition is key to validating our existence and identity.

According to recent studies, mixed East Asian and European ancestry is one of the fastest growing populations in countries such as the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

There are many definitions used to describe a person with mixed Asian ancestry. Among the most commonly used definitions are:


The definition of Eurasian has two different meanings:

It can refer to a person with an ethnic mix of Asian and European descent or

A person from Eurasia - A regional area which spans the landmass between Asia and Europe and includes countries such as Russia and the Ukraine.

Many Eurasian Ethnic groups arose during the Mongol invasion of Europe and the colonial occupation of Asian regions by European states and private corporations from the 16th century peaking in the 19th century.

The term 'Eurasian' was first coined in British India in 1844 and originally used by the Anglo-Indians - people of mixed British and Indian descent. They tended to socialize and marry among themselves forming a separate social and economic class.

Today the term is most commonly used as an ethnic definition to describe people of mixed European and East Asian descent.(Cultures based on Chinese culture and philosophy such as Chinese, Japanese Korean and some South East Asian cultures).


The term Hapa originates in Hawaai denoting a person with half Asian, half white or any other heritage. The usage of Hapa has become popular with many people with mixed roots.

Biracial or multiracial are terms also used today.

Primordial vs Constructed identity.

  • Primordial identity refers to a set of values, beliefs and customs that fit into a cultural umbrella practiced through a collective group. It can be said that the advantages of a primordial identity is that it provides a sense of greater identity stability within which a person is able to explore their own sense of individuality. Examples of Monoethnic cultures include English, French, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese.
  • A constructed identity refers to one where values, beliefs and customs are selected on an individual and personal basis according to what best suits the interest of the individual. It is a more flexible and fluid identity which provides the individual the ability to change his/her identity preferences depending on the situation.
  • Multiracial identity is said to be a constructed identity. Whilst it provides greater flexibility to determine one's own cultural preferences, it tends to lack the support of a cultural umbrella practiced through a collective group.

Identity Studies.

Research conducted by Poston and Root (1990) a leading researcher and author on bi-racial identity studies developed a four stage model of identity integration and conclude:

  • individuals with bi-racial identity have a fluid identity which means that they can move between ethnic preferences and change preferences depending on a situation. For instance, they are able to relate equally to both their European and Asian ethnic roots depending on the prevailing situation or they can establish a unique identity that is not wholly from one or the other.
  • Another study finds that people report the most satisfaction when they are able to value the different aspects of their ethnicity, make decisions freely and live with authenticity.

Poston notes that until the age of around four an individual's focus is on their own identity and is therefore not too aware of racial differences. The observation of differentiation takes place when the individual starts to have group contact - usually when they begin to attend school. This is an extremely anxious time for a person with bi-racial identity as they are placed in a situation where they are often required to make a choice between their identities. However, with parental support and guidance this phase can be overcome with less stress by helping your child to value all sides of their ethnic origins.

Continuum of Biracial Identity Model

The Continuum of biracial identity (COBI) is another model of biracial identity. Proposed by Rockquemore and Laszloffy aims to reflect the diverse ways multiracial individuals see themselves and proposes a continuum along which an individual can identity. A blended identity may express itself to different degrees of an ethnic ideal pending the individual's personal circumstances. For instance a person that is of mixed Chinese and German ancestry would be represented by one pole representing his/her Chinese side and the other pole representing his/her German. An equal blended identity of the two is located in the middle but an individual can place themselves anywhere along the continuum which can be changed at any time.

Some Tips To Help Children Integrate Their Mixed Heritage.

  • A child might learn the language of his/her minority culture.
  • Let your child have contact with relatives of both sides of the family.
  • Explain cultural differences to them. In this way, they can understand the reason why people act as they do and in this way they will also be able to understand themselves better.
  • Celebrate or at least note the important holidays and events to both sides of the family.

Differences Between Eastern and Western Values.

There are a multitude of ethnicities that comprise the Eastern and Western worlds - at their cores however lie only two philosophies rooted in ancient Greece and China.

It is good to know the differences in values and culture between Eastern and Western worldviews because it enables one to better understand people from different cultures and helps a person with a mixed heritage to better understand their roots and how it is expressed within their own ethnic mix.

The Western worldview and culture is rooted in ancient Greece under philosophers Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. Values of individualism, reasoning and linear thinking with man as the center of his universe and the application of science and technology as the basis of decision making.

The Eastern world (China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and some Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Singapore) is dominated by Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. A world-view based on collectivism, harmony, inner reflection, filial piety and holism (The whole as being more than the sum of its parts) places importance on a person's role in society as opposed to the focus on the individuality of a person. Buddhism taught correct living through harmlessness, mindfulness and non-attachment to the material world.

In essence we can say that Westerners tend to be more expressive and assertive in their communications with the pursuit of happiness and self-interest motivating decisions. In the East, people tend to be more context orientated, passive and yielding for the common good of the collective. Communication is more indirect and intuitive so as not to lose face or disrupt social order.

How are Eurasian' s Perceived?

A study conducted by Gillian Rhodes from the university of Australia found that people tend to find a Eurasian face more attractive than that of a European or Asian face. Perceptions of people, when asked what they think of Eurasian people generally agree with this finding but also say that they find that Eurasians tend to be more confused.

A number of studies show that bi-racial individuals tend to suffer a higher degree of mental illness as compared with the average population due to depression and anxiety as a result of identity confusion.

It is important therefore for parents, caregivers and the community to be sensitive as to how they respond to people with mixed ancestry. Getting to know someone before judging them and treating people as you would like yourself to be treated can go a long way towards developing and maintaining a healthy society. Parents and caregivers should encourage children to develop their inner talents and appreciate all sides of their ancestry.

Bi-Racial People are Healthier and Stronger.

A research study conducted by scientist on the genetics of intelligence in Hawaii amongst Americans with European and Japanese ancestry, and some with both ancestry, found that the participants with both ancestry's scored higher in 13 of the 15 tests given.

Alan Ziv authored a book based on these findings ‘Breeding between the Lines’ notes that whereas inbreeding is associated with a number of birth defects, cross breading creates a stronger, healthier and intelligent species.

Model Citizen of The 21st Century

One international news magazine proclaimed Eurasians "the poster children for 21st century globalization" touting their ability to bridge cultures in marketing, advertising and entertainment.

Definition of Part Asian Identity:The Social Construct of Language.

Which Definition of identity do You Prefer ?

See results

The World in 2050.

A Times magazine cover feature predicted that by 2050 America would be a dominant multicultural/Mixed race majority. Similar trends are found globally with Asians that are living in Western countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand becoming the fastest minority growing minority group as well as those with Eurasian origins.

What will the Race of the future be like?

Answering to the question about intermarriage in 1930, theosophist Gottfried de Purucker said "I can say simply this, that the time has not come when I would willingly suggest intermarriage; but I am in honesty bound to qualify that by saying that the race of the future will be a composite, composed of the many different races on earth today. Let us also remember that all men are ultimately of one blood."

The One Drop Rule.

Although outlawed in 1967 in the Loving and Virginia case in the USA – The one drop rule legally classified bi-racial people into the racial category of the minority raced parent. This view was handled similarly in other parts of the globe. A report featured in Psychology today claims that many people publicly associate themselves with only one race. President Obama for example checked the African American Black on the 2010 census form.

Loving and Virginia in 1967. A landmark civil case for Mixed marriages in the USA and the world.
Loving and Virginia in 1967. A landmark civil case for Mixed marriages in the USA and the world. | Source

Loving Vs Virginia. A Landmark Civil Case.

A USA Supreme court ruling of 1967 found it unconstitutional to prohibit mixed race marriages based on laws prohibiting interracial marriages. ‘The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored".’Wiklopedia

The Loving and Virginia case was not only a landmark ruling in the USA, but also had a global reach.

Role Models.

A role model is someone that a person or community can look up to for inspiration and behavior modeling. When it comes to famous actors and actresses it seems there is an ample supply of wonderful role models. Male mixed Asian celebrities and Female Celebrities.

Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage.

Maria Root a leading researcher and writer on mixed race studies wrote this bill of rights in the 1990s for people of mixed race.

The Kipfulbeck Hapa Project.

The Hapa Project.

Kip Fulbeck is an American artist, filmaker and author His mixed race-ethnic bakground is Cantonese, English, Irish, and Welsh. Fulbeck created the Hapa project, a multiracial identity project using a range of mediums, including a published book, traveling photographic exhibition, satellite community presentations, and online communities

Fulbeck began the project in 2001, traveling the country photographing over 1200 volunteer subjects who self-identified as hapa (defined for the project as mixed ethnic heritage with partial roots in Asian and/or pacific islander ancestry)

After being photographed, participants identified their ethnicites in their own words, then handwrote their response to the question “what are you?”

over 1200 volunteer participants were photographed at dozens of shoots throughout California and Hawaii, as well as Illinois, New York, and Wisconsin

the Hapa project was created to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of multiracial/multiethnic individuals of asian/pacific islander descent; to give voice to multiracial people and previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths of exoticism, hybrid vigor and racial homogeneity; to foster positive identity formation and self-image in multiracial children; and to encourage solidarity and empowerment within the multiracial/hapa community

The Loving Day Foundation.

Loving Day is a global network of annual celebrations you can host or attend.

It's Goals are:

  • To create a common connection between multicultural communities, groups and individuals
  • Build multicultural awareness, understanding, acceptance, and identity
  • Educate the public about the history of interracial relationships in order to fight prejudice
  • Establish a tradition of Loving Day celebrations as a means to achieve these goals

What Are You Anyway


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)