Asian pride

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Asian pride is a term utilized internationally but has various origins and meanings [1]

International usage[edit]

Asian pride is a broad term that can cover several topics. Within the international relations context, Asian pride can be seen within Asian politics as advancement of Pan-Asianism through heavy criticism of the West.[2][3]

In 2014, China referred to India's successful Mars Orbiter Mission of Mangalyaan as the "pride of Asia".[4]

United States[edit]

The pan-ethnicity Asian American concept is not embraced by many Asian Americans in the United States.[5]

Yellow Power[edit]

In the United States the term has older roots within the counter culture movement among Asian Americans in the 1960s.[1] During the period there was the Black Power movement, and Asian Americans seeing the impact it had on African-American culture and overall society, rejecting being called "Oriental" and the stereotype of the "yellow peril" used the term Asian Pride, along with "yellow power", to advance empowerment of Asian Americans.[1][6]

Hip Hop culture[edit]

A more modern usage of the term "Asian Pride" (also spelled AZN pride) the United States is a positive stance to being Asian American.[7] The term arose from influences of hip hop culture within Asian American communities in the Western United States due to the creation of an Asian American pan-ethnicity (the concept was influenced in the late 20th century due to the influence of publications such as Yolk and Giant Robot magazines) that did not specify a specific ethnicity (such as Vietnamese, or Hmong).[8][9] One manifestation of this was the Got Rice? term, which spun off from the advertising campaign Got Milk?.[10] Younger Asian Americans are finding strength from their Asian identity.[11] Another usage of the term was Greg Pak's Asian Pride Porn!, which used political correct pornography parody to present Asian Americans in a positive light compared to their portrayal in late 20th century mainstream media.[12] Sometimes this arises due to being made to feel different from the prevalent culture surrounding the Asian American youth.[13]

The term can be used as a negative, being used to describe individuals who prefer only to have Asian American relationships with the exclusion of potential diverse relationships.[14] It has also been criticized as being primarily a marketing gimmick that "is wide open to model minority accusations."[15]

The term has been adopted by a few Filipino American gang members in Los Angeles, who used the term to assist them in their construction of their ethnic identity.[16] It has also been used as the name of a gang in Florida[17][18] and Colorado.[19]

Got Rice?[edit]

The phrase "Got Rice?" is a term that was coined by Asian American youth in the 1990s shortly after the original "Got Milk?" advertising campaign for the California Milk Board in 1993.[20] The phrase has since come to be used as a symbol for the cohesiveness of Asian American cultural identity and cultural pride, especially on the Internet. It's usually mentioned close to the Asian Pride slogan.[20]

The humor is derived from the fact that rice is a staple food in many Asian cultures. The slogan can thus be viewed as an Asian American cultural response to American media and advertising.[20]

There is also a parody song called "Got Rice?", often referred as AZN Pride, which samples 2Pac's "Changes".[21][22] The song dates back to at least 2000, and has been described as being in the raptivist genre;[21] it is also noted as an example of Asian Americans, specifically Chinese Americans, adoption and adaption of Hip Hop culture.[23] It has also been referred to as "satirically pro-Asian", for its use of the AZN terminology which is not fully embraced by all Asian Americans.[24] The Fung Brothers released a modification of the song in 2010.[25]

T-shirt campaign[edit]

While the phrase itself presumably began as Asian American slang, the first notable usage is the T-shirt campaign first started by the Asian American magazine Yolk.[26]

Soon, other Asian American organizations began promoting the phrase and selling similar T-shirt designs. The organizations and their proponents intended for the T-shirts to be a fun way of promoting Asian American cultural heritage:

"Political identi-tees don’t all have to be so in-your-face. The Japanese American National Museum ( in L.A.’s Little Tokyo offers an array of kinder, gentler tees commemorating aspects of Japanese-American heritage both fun and serious. Among the most popular designs, a line of adult and baby tees feature the rallying cry of the lactose liberation movement, "Got Rice?" [27]

Many in the Asian American community viewed the design as evidence of significant progress for the viability of Asian American culture and identity; whereas before identity may have been enforced on Asians via stereotypes from the dominant society, the "Got Rice?" shirts were an attempt by Asian Americans to define their identity and to take back those symbols used to stereotype them.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Meredith Leigh Oyen (26 March 2015). "Asian Pride". In Gina Misiroglu (ed.). American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History. Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-317-47729-7.
  2. ^ Langguth, Gerd (1996). "Dawn of the "Pacific Century"?". German Foreign Affairs Review. 47 (4). Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  3. ^ Dalrymple, Rawdon (2003). Continental Drift: Australia's Search for a Regional Identity. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 119. ISBN 9780754634461. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  4. ^ Sridharan, Vasudevandate (24 September 2014). "China Heralds India's Mars Mission Mangalyaan as 'Pride of Asia'". International Business Times. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ Wong, William (2001). Yellow Journalist: Dispatches from Asian America. Maping Racisms. Temple University Press. p. 187. ISBN 9781566398305. Retrieved 20 December 2012. The Asian pride argument is not realistic in these times, at least in most cities and especially at state and national levels. For one thing, what is "Asian Pride"? There is a pan-Asian sentiment among some Asian Americans. Many Americans of Asian background, though, don't embrace the vague "Asian American" sobriquet. The identity label of choice rangers from plain old "American" to particular Asian ethnicity.
    Joseph Tilden Rhea (1 May 2001). Race Pride and the American Identity. Harvard University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-674-00576-1.
  6. ^ Margaret L. Andersen; Howard F. Taylor (22 February 2007). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society, Updated. Cengage Learning. p. 603. ISBN 1-111-79905-9.
    Daryl J. Maeda (2012). Rethinking the Asian American Movement. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-80081-5.
  7. ^ Ann Malaspina (2007). The Ethnic and Group Identity Movements: Earning Recognition. Infobase Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4381-0633-5.
  8. ^ DiMaggio, Paul; Fernández-Kelly, María Patricia (2010). Art in the Lives of Immigrant Communities in the United States. Rutgers University Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780813547572. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  9. ^ Nguyen, Jason R. (2010). "Pan Asian Americans: "Got Rice?"". In Nadeau, Kathleen; Lee, Jonathan H.X. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 68. ISBN 9780313350672. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  10. ^ Ann Malaspina (2007). The Ethnic and Group Identity Movements: Earning Recognition. Infobase Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4381-0633-5.
  11. ^ Chou, Rosalind S. (2012). Asian American Sexual Politics: The Construction of Race, Gender, and Sexuality. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 182. ISBN 9781442209244.
  12. ^ Rachel C. Lee; Sau-ling Cynthia Wong (9 May 2003). Asian America..Net: Ethnicity Nationalism and Cyberspace. Routledge. pp. 274–276. ISBN 1-135-44952-X.
    Greg Pak (2005). Robot Stories: And More Screenplays. Immedium. pp. 79–95. ISBN 978-1-59702-000-8.
    Kent A. Ono; Vincent Pham (20 January 2009). Asian Americans and the Media. Polity. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-7456-4273-4.
    Celine Shimizu (9 May 2012). Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies. Stanford University Press. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-8047-8220-3.
  13. ^ Daniel Frio (2012). Classroom Voices on Education and Race: Students Speak from Inside the Belly of the Beast. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 100–106. ISBN 978-1-4758-0135-4.
  14. ^ Joseph Tilden Rhea (1 May 2001). Race Pride and the American Identity. Harvard University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-674-00576-1.
  15. ^ Deborah Wong; Paul DiMaggio; María Patricia Fernández-Kelly (2010). "GenerAsian Learn Chinese; The Asian American Youth Generation and New Class Formations". Art in the Lives of Immigrant Communities in the United States. Rutgers University Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-8135-4757-2.
  16. ^ Alsaybar, Bangele D. (2002). "Filipino American Youth Gangs, "Party Culture," and Ethnic Identity in Los Angeles". In Min, Pyong Gap (ed.). The Second Generation: Ethnic Identity Among Asian Americans. Rowman Altamira. p. 129. ISBN 9780759101760.
  17. ^ "Asian Pride Gang Member Gets 33 Years". St. Petersburg Times. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  18. ^ Jamal Thalji; Kameel Stanley (15 May 2009). "Judge criticized for gang member's low bail in murder case". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  19. ^ "27 Members Of 'Asian Pride' Gang Indicted". KMGH-TV. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  20. ^ a b c Jonathan H. X. Lee; Kathleen M. Nadeau (2011). Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife. ABC-CLIO. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-313-35066-5.
  21. ^ a b Heike Raphael-Hernandez; Shannon Steen (1 November 2006). AfroAsian Encounters: Culture, History, Politics. NYU Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-8147-7690-2.
  22. ^ Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu; Mimi Thi Nguyen (27 March 2007). Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America. Duke University Press. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-8223-8983-5.
  23. ^ Jonathan H. X. Lee (12 November 2015). Chinese Americans: The History and Culture of a People: The History and Culture of a People. ABC-CLIO. p. 340. ISBN 978-1-61069-550-3.
  24. ^ Paul DiMaggio; Patricia Fernandez-Kelly (13 October 2010). Art in the Lives of Immigrant Communities in the United States. Rutgers University Press. p. 137-138. ISBN 978-0-8135-5041-1.
  25. ^ "An Ode to San Gabriel Valley Easts". Angry Asian Man. Blogger. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  26. ^ Olivia Barker (March 22, 2001). "Eastern Influences Become Icons of Popular Culture". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  27. ^ S. D. Ikeda. "Identi-tees: Stereotypes, Abercrombie & the Chest as a Battlefield". Archived from the original on 2006-03-16.
  28. ^ Heike Berner. (2003) Home Is Where the Heart Is? Identity and Belonging in Asian American Literature. Ph.D. Dissertation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Further reading[edit]

  • Perry, Justin C., Kristen S. Vance, and Janet E. Helms. "Using the people of color racial identity attitude scale among Asian American college students: An exploratory factor analysis." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 79.2 (2009): 252-260.