Sunday, June 17, 2007

Guess who's Asian?


Just when you thought Asians were everywhere, it turns out they're even more everywhere than you think. I'm not just talking about full-blooded Asians now, but those with a bit of Asian blood (meaning that one of their parents, grandparents or possibly the milkman, was Asian).
My mixed up Eurasian brethren are gradually taking over the world. Turn on MTV Asia and its as if you're watching some society populated exclusively by Eurasians - a portent of things to come.

Some Eurasians are easily identifiable as such - think of singer-songwriter Michelle Branch, Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda, musician Norah Jones, Filipino/English songstress Kate Ceberano, or Smallville actress Kristin Kreuk (pictured right - Hot Damn! Surely the greatest argument in favour of East/West relations. She's part Dutch, part Chinese-Indonesian, by the way).

But here are some folks with Asian blood you may not have thought of:

Eddie Van Halen (left) - Legendary hard rock guitarist and his drumming brother Alex are 3/4 Dutch and 1/4 Indonesian.

Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer of Pussycat Dolls) (right) - Exhibit B in the argument in favour of miscegenation. She fine! Shame about the music though. She is part Filipino and part Hawaiian/Russian.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (left)- Star left-back for Barcelona and Dutch international footballer (and possessor of one of the greatest names in football history), he's at least half Indonesian. Fellow Dutch players Denny Landzaat and Johnny Heitinga are also Indo-Dutch.

Rob Schneider (!!!!!) - the comedic actor, whose presence in a movie is a good indicator that it is stupid, is 3/4 Jewish and 1/4 Filipino.

Kate Beckinsale - British actress is 1/8 Burmese. I accidentally stumbled across a white-supremacist website in which the members were vigorously debating whether it was ethical for them to hypothetically have sex with her, as she is "racially impure". That is some f*cked-up sh*t on just so many levels. They should stick to sex with their sisters instead.

Kirk Hammett
(right) - Metallica's lead guitarist is 1/2 Irish, 1/2 Filipino.

Karen O - lead singer of US rock band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs is 1/2 Polish and 1/2 Korean.

Lou Diamond Phillips - I always thought of the La Bamba actor as Native American, but it turns out his heritage also includes Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, Hawaiian and Chinese.

Blasian, as you might guess, means half-black, half-Asian. Otherwise known as Afro-Asian. And damn, there's more of them than you think.
The best known Blasian is Tiger Woods. Regularly touted as the first black golf star, he's actually more Thai than black - in fact he's coined the term "Cablinasian" to describe his mix of Caucasian, black and Asian.
But the entertainment industry is jam-packed with Blasians - some of them you can pick, some of them are a surprise. Interestingly, many of those listed below have Caribbean ancestry, a legacy of Indian and Chinese immigration to the region.

Tyson Beckford (left)- supermodel and the face of Ralph Lauren, he is 1/4 Chinese, and the rest Jamaican with a bit of Panamanian in there somewhere.

Naomi Campbell (right)- 3/4 black West Indian, 1/4 Chinese.

Marcus Chong (right) and Rae Dawn Chong - American actors and half-siblings, their father is Eurasian comedian Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame), while their respective mothers are both black.


Diana King (right)- Jamaican R&B/reggae singer, her mother is Jamaican of Indian background.

Sean Paul - Jamaican dancehall star has - let me see if I've got this right - a Dad of Jewish-Portuguese ancestry, and a Chinese/Afro-Jamaican mother.

Apl de Ap - the Blackeyed Peas rapper (born Allan Pineda Lindo) is an Afro-Filipino.

Ashanti - R&B singer's father is half African-American and half Chinese and her mother is 3/4 Dominican and 1/4 African-American.

Amerie (right)- sexy R&B songstress is 1/2 Korean & 1/2 black.

Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas (left)- TLC singer's father is Indian from Guyana, moms is African American.

Debelah Morgan (right)- yet another R&B singer, she had a smash hit with "Dance With Me" - her father is black, mother is Indian. And Debelah speaks Hindi!

Foxy Brown (left)- NYC rapper is half black and half Trinidadian Indian.

Charles Mingus - legendary jazz double-bassist (1922-79) was 1/4 black, 1/4 Chinese, 1/4 English and 1/4 Swedish.

Joe Bataan - Afro-Filipino singer was born in NYC's Spanish Harlem and became a star of 70s Latin funk, singing mostly in Spanish. His daughter Asia Nitollano is a Pussycat Doll.

Ne-Yo (left)- I think the R&B star is 1/4 Chinese, 1/2 African American and 1/2 Puerto Rican.

Omar (right)- One of Britain's great soul singers, Omar Lye-Fook is some kind of blend of Chinese-Jamaican and Indian-Jamaican.

Have I missed anyone? Post a comment and let me know!

So to all my Asian brothers with brewing resentment of guys with "yellow fever" stealing all "your" women, look on the bright side - most of the people listed above are HOT (don't know how it went wrong for me though). So a beautiful world is being created and our children's generation will enjoy the benefits of it.

So go forth and cross-breed, my people! Just make sure it's consensual. And a bit of cross-breeding with yours truly wouldn't hurt either, ladies.

Asian or not?
Now here are some dudes who probably have no Asian blood, but we'll try and claim them for one reason or another.

Tana Umaga (left)- All-Blacks captain is of Samoan background, but look at the dude's eyes - there's gotta be some Asian in there somewhere. Apparently Chinese New Zealanders are big fans of him for precisely this reason.

Deco (right)- again, its all in the eyes. The Brazilian-born Portuguese football superstar looks at least part-Asian to me - which wouldn't be surprising as Brazil is full of Japanese.

Pharrell Williams (left)- the eyes, I tell you, the eyes! The R&B star, sex-symbol and uber-producer has never disclosed this, but rumours are he is Afro-Filipino.

Redman - I've heard the rapper is part Korean. However the only evidence of this I could find is that he raps a few lines in Korean on one of his albums. Which is like saying Kim Jong-Il is part English because he knows a few words of English.

Barack Obama - okay, okay, we all know his daddy is Kenyan and his moms is white American. But after they split, his mother remarried an Indonesian and moved there from Hawaii. Young Barack even spent a few years at the same Jakarta school as my nephew, before moving to the states. So if he can become US President, we Indonesians will rush to claim him.

So... why do Asians rush to claim these people as one of their own, and perhaps make a big deal of the Asian bloodlines of some of the aforementioned celebrities? And why am I so obsessed with celebrities anyway?
Well, I guess there aren't that many Asian superstar rappers, rugby players or actors out there, so we've got to cling on to whatever we can.

Besides, its not nearly as interesting as claiming, "You know my doctor/accountant/pharmacist/drycleaner/petrol station operator/dentist has Asian blood?" because, well, that just goes without saying.

"You can run now... but eventually, we're gonna hump you"
- comedian Russell Peters on the world's population eventually becoming entirely Chinese and Indian.

I could conceivably follow up this post with a "Guess who's Jewish?" article, featuring Craig David, Paula Abdul, Lenny Kravitz and Sean Paul, but I'll leave that for a Jewish person to do.

Want more on this topic? Try "Guess who's Asian?" part 2, part 3 and part 4.

An analysis of the Eurasian mystique here.