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  #1  
Old 07-25-2008, 10:12 PM
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Oriental vs Asian

Do you consider the term 'Oriental' to be offensive when it's used to refer to people? I do consider it offensive but I'm not sure why, I don't know the history. I remember our art teacher in grade 9 told us our furniture and rugs are oriental, but our friends are Asian.

When did the term 'Oriental' as a reference to people become widely seen as a derogatory term?

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Old 07-25-2008, 10:16 PM
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For starters, I'm not asian.

I'm not offended by the term "oriental" as applied to a person, though I understand some people are, so I don't use that term that way. If for some reason I need to describe the race of an asian person, I will say "asian" or specific nationality if I know it.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2008, 10:29 PM
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Can anybody define the word, "oriental"? Anybody?
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:34 PM
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It didn't used to be, but I'm not going to tell anyone what they can or can't be offended by. I do get annoyed that Asian somehow never means Indian, considering there are a billion of them and they have a whole subcontinent named after them. No, they just get 'dot' added on to 'Indian'.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Can anybody define the word, "oriental"? Anybody?
Not Occidental?
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:41 PM
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Not Occidental?
That would be a fortuitous occident.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2008, 10:53 PM
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Orient means "East". Occident means "west". An Oriental refers to anyone who lived east of Rome so, Turks, Persians, Indians, Chinese, most Russians, etc. are "Orientals". Asians are natives of the continent of Asia.

"The star of the Orient" springs to mind from the Christian bible.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:55 PM
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The 'polar' bears would like to object to the characterization.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2008, 11:24 PM
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I'm of Asian descent, but by all means I am an American first.




I don't find either term offensive. I've also heard "Oriental Furniture and Rugs, but Asian people."

I guess its similar to people not using "hispanic" anymore and using "Latino".
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:15 AM
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All I can say, is it's time for us Euro-Americans to take a stance.

I mean, come on - we're the only group left for whom it's acceptable to refer to by color. And Caucasian? Sorry, but I'm putting my foot down there, too. Sounds way too much like something that gets erect on a...hmmm.

Sorry, what's the correct term?
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:27 AM
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It helps discern between a South Asian and East Asian and SE Asian. South Asians are not Orientals although the ones from North East India and Nepal are by all means.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redassag00 View Post
I'm of Asian descent, but by all means I am an American first.




I don't find either term offensive. I've also heard "Oriental Furniture and Rugs, but Asian people."

I guess its similar to people not using "hispanic" anymore and using "Latino".

before i answer the question above...

as an asian, i almost have to grit my teeth at your post above, but at the same time, empathize with why you wrote what you did. seems to me, asians for whatever reason, have to qualify our loyalty like your post above because of historic anti-asian sentiments here in the US. like the japanese americans during WWII who fought in the 442nd even though their families were put into concentration camps and still had in their minds to prove their loyalty to god, country and family. or most recently, wen ho lee, who was exonerated and received a very serious apology from a US federal judge on behalf of the united states govt. so what i'm trying to say is, if you feel the need to qualify your loyalty to this country or to people, dont. you know you are an american first as do i, and thus, if you feel you need to justify it, dont. its their problem, not yours. those people dont have to qualify their loyalty to you, do they?

ok, back to the question. i dont find it offensive, but like redassag00 said, its archaic. like when you hear an old white lady say "colored" people. its not as bad as saying chink, jap, etc, but its bordering on it.
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:32 AM
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Asian is a stupid term that seems to exclude Middle East (Arabia, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan Afghanistan, etc).

Some people seem to think it only means Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, etc.
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:00 AM
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folks don't use hispanic anymore?

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  #15  
Old 07-26-2008, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willy2004 View Post
"Asian" is such a general description and it usually refers to skin color.

Many Koreans don't like Japanese and vice versa.

I suppose that lumping Koreans and Japanese into one category might be offensive. To me it is not.

If you say "he is Asian" then I assume you don't know where the person is from. The term can nevertheless be an effective way of describing a person's appearance.

I think the term "Asian" often refers to a person from upper Asia (Japan, China, Korea) or SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, etc..) and even the Phillipines.
Errrrrrr.....where does that leave the 1 billion Indians which include a moderate number of people with Oriental features as well, certainly not Middle East.

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