Erin and I attended a networking event tonight of a new organization forming in Denver, the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals, and had a great time with a spirited group of Asian Americans. We saw some familiar faces, but Erin and I were delighted to find that we didn’t know most of the attendees — it’s nice to see new (and young) Asians adding their voices to the APA community.
During the meeting, which was held in a hip and popular Cherry Creek sushi bar named Hapa, one of the women asked Erin if she was Chinese, and didn’t believe it when Erin replied she was Japanese American.
Then the woman looked at me and asked if I was mixed, or hapa (a Hawaiian word for half-white which started out as a derogatory, but is now widely used and accepted). I explained I’m full Japanese — my dad was born in Hawai’i but he was full Japanese, and my mom is from Japan. Continue reading