East-West via Podcast

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. ChinesePod’s Saturday Show had a segment about the use of the word “Oriental” vs “Asian“, the former acceptable in the UK, while rarely acceptable in the US, while the latter is preferred in the US, and in the UK only refers to South Asian Indians.

On the Daily Breakfast, Fr. Roderick describes his childhood taunting from other Dutch schoolchildren because his grandmother was Shanghainese, and his hair is black, not blonde. Now he wants to learn Chinese – possibly through Michigan State University’s Zon – think Berlitz meets Second Life, except in this massively multiuser game, you have to talk to everyone in Chinese just to get out of the virtual Beijing airport. My father has relatives in Suriname, which used to be called Dutch Guyana, and I think I have some distant cousins in the Netherlands (you need a scorecard to keep track of the extended relatives).