Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPA Family Dysfunction Day!

If those of you who are monoracial think you've got problems with family dysfunction during the holidays, consider what's it like for mixed-race folks who have the addition of two or more ethnicities to deal with when it comes to practicing customs and rituals.

Personally, my mother is not all that into holidays and her apathetic husband, being the atheist that he is, frees me from some of the rhetoric that other multiracial people tell me they experience around this time of the year. Do we do Christmas, Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, or Tet--or, none of the above? Drop me a comment and tell me what you do in your house, how you do it, and why.

Thanks to the Mixed Chicks, Fanshen and Heidi, for another great podcast today. Some of us were on the show explaining our complicated mixed-heritage names. You can listen to any of the past podcasts by going to:

And, Allison Manushikin, who is searching for mixed-race writers, sent me the following email:

Mixed Race People!!!

Having a hard time deciding where you fit, frustrated with identity politics? Got something to say?!!! Mestizo Revelations is a 'zine inspired potential book project that is about examining race and what being mixed is/means, without necessarily having to tie in to other ethnic movements to find validity. Some of my friends and I are tired of old paradigms in identity politics and are interested in challenging those paradigms by describing where we (as mixed people) are now, philosophically.

As you know, mixed race literature is often quite stagnant, especially ethnic studies, so this is the antidote to all of that. We are looking for voices, new to the scene, to speak about not only our personal histories as mixed race people, but also to submit commentaries on identity politics as a whole, through essays, poems, or visual presentations. The project will also include photo shoots. Eventually, I'd like to pursue a grant to fund publishing this.

This is a fun project for all involved and I'd like to emphasize a sense of humor in your writing--don't write as though you're preaching, remember you're writing for an audience that may not have any idea about our experiences, and reach deep inside yourself for interesting histories and ideas! (Think the tongue in cheek, yet innovative and political humor of Hyphen Magazine). Please forward widely to other mestizos who might be interested as well!!!

The deadline for submission is January 31, 2009. Please contact Allison at or 323-706-8320 with your pieces or questions and I'd be happy to show you a sample of what we've started working on already. Or, alternatively, you can read my blog which conveys the sort of direction I'm heading in.

Back to the holidays--for those of you who participate, it's never too early to go shopping and if you're looking for something special for your hapa friends, check out Hapa*Teez at Cafe Press. Besides proclaiming hapa pride, you'll be getting a good bargain, help support the film and you'll receive a rear crawl credit, too.

That's Eva, Teri and Cassie above modeling Hapa*Teez. Make your purchase here:

Until next week, I humbly remain

Your Hip Hapa,

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