A hapa is a person of mixed ethnic heritage. The term originates in Hawaii from the Hawaiian word for "part" or "mixed". In Hawaii, the word refers to any person of mixed ethnic heritage, regardless of the specific mixture. In California, the term has recently been used for any person of part Asian or Pacific Islander descent. Therefore, there are two concurrent usages.[nb 1]
The term hapa comes from a Hawaiian Pidgin word that denotes a part or fragment of something, itself a loan from the English word half. When applied to people, this denotes that such people are of mixed descent. Mary Pukui and Samuel Ebert's Hawaiian Dictionary define hapa as: "of mixed blood, person of mixed blood as in hapa Hawaiʻi, part Hawaiian."
Used without qualification, hapa is often taken to mean "part White," and is shorthand for hapa haole. The term can be used in conjunction with other Hawaiian racial and ethnic descriptors to specify a particular racial or ethnic mixture. Examples of this include:
- hapa haole (part European/White).
- hapa kanaka (part Native Hawaiian).
- hapa ʻInikiki ʻAmelika (part Native American).
- hapa popolo (part African/black).
- hapa kepani (part Japanese); the term hapanese and "hafu" are also encountered.
- hapa pilipino (part Filipino).
- hapa pake (part Chinese).
- hapa kolea (part Korean).
- hapa kamoa (part Samoan).
- hapa (hi)sepania (part Spanish/white and Latino).
- hapa pukiki (part Portuguese/white).
Pukui states that the original meaning of the word haole was "foreigner". Therefore, all non-Hawaiians can be called haole. In practical terms, however, the term is used as a racial description for Europeans, with the specific exclusion of Portuguese. Portuguese were traditionally considered to be a separate race in Hawaii.
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- Race of the Future
- Ozaki and Johnston (2009), pp. 53–54
- Folen, Alana; Ng, Tina (Spring 2007). "The Hapa Project: How multiracial identity crosses oceans". University of Hawaii at Manoa. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Grant Barrett. "Dictionary definition of hapa". Double Tongued Dictionary. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Gamble (2009), p. 2
- Bernstein and De la Cruz (2009), p. 723
- Bernstein and De la Cruz (2009), p. 723: "Thus, for locals in Hawai’i, both hapa or hapa haole are used to depict people of mixed-race heritage."
- Taniguchi and Heidenreich (2005), p. 137: "Currently, Hawaiian locals use Hapa to refer to any individual who is racially mixed."
- Gamble (2009), p. 2: "Today, the term is commonly used to describe Asian Pacific Islanders of mixed race heritage."; p. 14: "As well, in contemporary discourse, hapa is used to describe any person of part Asian or Pacific Islander heritage, not limited to part White heritage."
- Huynh-Hohnbaum (2009), p. 437: "The term "hapa" is commonly used to refer to multiracial Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) and originates from a Native Hawaiian word."
- Bernstein and De la Cruz (2009), p. 723: "Today, Hapa is used to describe any person of mixed Asian Pacific American descent."
- Ozaki and Johnston (2009), pp. 53–54: "Currently, hapa is often used to refer to anyone of a racially mixed Asian heritage, and even more recently to anyone who is of mixed-race heritage (Taniguchi and Heidenreich, 2005)."
- Folen, Alana; Ng, Tina (Spring 2007). "The Hapa Project: How multiracial identity crosses oceans". University of Hawaii at Manoa. Retrieved 4 September 2013. "Jonathan Okamura, professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, explained that although hapa is a word that describes all people of mixed ancestry, hapa is primarily used to describe people who are half white and half Asian American."
- Taniguchi and Heidenreich (2005), p. 135: "In California, individuals recognized the term as meaning mixed Asian/Pacific Islander or, more popularly, part Asian."
- Office of Management and Budget (30 October 1997), Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, US Government, retrieved 4 September 2013
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of hapa". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Easley (1995), p. 76: "'Hapa haole' is a commonly used phrase in Hawaii, employed by all Asian subgroups, but Hawaiian in origin. The phrase literally translates into "of part-white ancestry or origin.""
- "Hapa Haole". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of haole". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Gerrit Parmele Judd IV (1961). Hawaii: an informal history. Collier Books. p. 136.
- Taniguchi and Heidenreich (2005), p. 138: "Prominent figures in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, such as the Trask sisters, have spoken out against the co-optation of the Hawaiian language by Hapa organizations and other “inappropriate” uses of the term."
- Dariotis (2007)
- Gamble (2009), p. 11
- Kanahele, George S.; Berger, John, eds. (2012) . Hawaiian Music & Musicians (2nd ed.). Honolulu, HI, USA: Mutual Publishing, LLC. ISBN 9781566479677. OCLC 808415079.
- Huynh-Hohnbaum, Anh-Luu T. (2009). "Multiracial Asians and Pacific Islanders". In Chen, Wen-Chu; Yoo, Grace J. Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today 1. Greenwood Pub Group. pp. 437–443. ISBN 978-0313347511.
- Bernstein, Mary; De la Cruz, Marcie (2009). ""What are You?": Explaining Identity as a Goal of the Multiracial Hapa Movement". Social Problems (University of California Press) 56 (4): 722–745. doi:10.1525/sp.2009.56.4.722. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Easley, Allen Ken (1995). "Of Children's Plates, Melting Pots, Tossed Salads and Multiple Consciousness: Tales from a Hapa Haole". UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal (UCLA) 3 (1): 75–80. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Gamble, Adriane (2009). "Hapas: Emerging Identity, Emerging Terms and Labels & the Social Construction of Race". Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies (Stanford University) 2. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Ozaki, C. Casey; Johnston, Marc (2009). "The space in between: Issues for multiracial student organizations and advising". New Directions for Student Services (Wiley Periodicals Inc.) 2008 (123): 53–61. doi:10.1002/ss.286. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Taniguchi, Angela S.; Heidenreich, Linda (2005). "Re-Mix: Rethinking the use of ‘Hapa’ in Mixedrace Asian/Pacific Islander American Community Organizing". Washington State University McNair Journal (Fall) (Washington State University). pp. 135–146. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Dariotis, Wei Ming (2007). "Hapa: The Word of Power". Mixed Heritage Center. Retrieved 2 September 2013.