At last! After months of delays, my Watermelon Sushi store is finally opened for business and my Hapa*Teez t-shirts are for sale. Just for you, I've created three designs splayed across the top of several styles of t's all using the word hapa.
Now, about that word that some communities like to claim as their own. Personally, I feel that it belongs to all of us blendies. Originally, the Hawai'ians used it to mean "half" as in a measurement. And, it was traditionally linked with the word haole--a combination of ha (life's breath) and ole (nothing); literally, "he without breath". You see, the first Europeans arriving on the scene looked much too pale to the Natives to contain any ha or life's breath, and because they didn't prostrate themselves before the King and expel their last ha as was the custom, the Hawai'ians figured they had none. Thus, haole. And, please, don't mispronounce it by saying howlie as if you're referring to a wolf or something. Instead, try "hah" "oh" "leh". Ah, much better.
As Europeans began marrying Hawai'ians, their offspring were called hapa haole--half European. Then, with the arrival of East Asians, even more intermarrying occurred. Soon, Native Hawai'ians could boast few among them as being pure blood. The hapa haole phrase then became more applicable to those who were half Asian and half white.
Like I said, I use hapa to describe anyone who is biracial. Half is half of any race as far as I'm concerned.
So, please check out my store at: http://www.cafepress.com/hapateez
I know some of the prices are a bit much, but believe me my commission is not. On a serious tip, I hope my Hapa*Teez t's grow so huge in popularity that I'll be able to finance my feature film this year. If that's the case, I'll give an onscreen credit to all of you who buy them.
Another project I'm currently working on is a short documentary about hapas. So, if you're biracial and have a story to share onscreen, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, here's a shout-out to my SWIRL girl, Jen Chau. You can read her blog at jenchau.typepad.com/thetimeisalwaysright or check out www.swirlinc.org to connect with the largest mixed-race organization on Planet Earth!
Next up, Mia G updates the www.watermelonsushi.com website with new photos of Kool Mo Dee and Chuck D at Studio 52 in LA where we watched Mo Dee tape his new TV pilot, iamhiphop.com this past November.
And, I'll keep you posted about that newspaper article featuring hapas (including yours truly) that should be published this weekend.
Your Hip Hapa,