Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mixed Chicks Chat Rules!


I'm still stoked from my appearance today on Hosted by Fanshen Cox and Heidi Durow, this live podcast is all about multiracial people. Every Wednesday, at 2 pm PDT, the two women discuss the mixed-race experience--often interviewing someone who's actively involved in the community. Today, it was my turn.

After talking about my formative years growing up in a monoracial 'hood, I told my now-favorite story about people having issues pronouncing my first name. If you care to scroll back in the archives, you can read my blog about my personal war with George Takei. You know, Mr. Sulu from Star Trek? Several years ago, I attended an Asian American event where Mr. Takei was a guest. Because most people have a hard time saying "Yayoi", over time I've learned to sharply enunciate every syllable when announcing it. When I did so to Mr. Takei, he brushed me off with, "You don't even pronounce your name right!" I wasn't offended until much later when I realized he must think I don't know anything about Japanese culture just because I don't look like him. So, once again, I challenge Mr. Sulu to a duel--Who's More Japanese, Fool?

Anyway, the Mixed Chicks and I had a lot of fun talking about a lot of things. And, fun is important. That's why I've come up with terms like Hip Hapa Homeez and Hapa Japa to identify us blendies. The whole business of being multiracial in a monoracial world is serious enough and, often, our approach is just too academic for the average person to take in. Therefore, my thing is to add a little hiphop, pop culture flava to our experience.

Two topics currently running on my Facebook Hip Hapa Homeez group page are:

1. Why don't more Asian men and black women have interracial relationships? Asian men tell me they think the sistahs are hot, while black women say Asian men are quite attractive. So, what's the problem, ya'll?

2. It's that old bugaboo, hair, again. So many mixed-race people have hair that's different from their parents. It's especially tricky when the mother has a certain texture of hair different from her daughter(s). With boys, I guess, you can just cut it all off. But, in my, and my sister's case, my Japanese mother with her bone-straight hair would simply "plait" our unruly manes after greasing 'em up with petroleum jelly!

Anyway, it's good to connect so check out some of the links I've posted about friends I've been connecting with lately. And, definitely, give the Mixed Chicks a listen.

Your Hip Hapa,


Anonymous said...

Eeep! Not the petroleum jelly!

Great post although my great childhood love for Mr Sulu is slightly diminished. Ah well.

And I would pronounce your name Ya-yoi-ii. Is that right? Sorry, if it's not!

Yayoi Lena Winfrey said...

Aloha again, Mixie.

Here's the pronunciation:


That's a short "ah", long "o", and what sounds like a long "e".

I think I covered it and the meaning in an earlier post. I'll dig it up and write about it in my next post. Thanks for your participation!

Your Hip Hapa,