Growing up in the Northeastern part of the United States means I’ve been exposed to just about every race imaginable. You name it, I’ve hated and been hated by someone whose ancestors came from a particular part of the world.
The same is not true for Jenny. The Philippines isn’t nearly as racially diverse. While they have people from many nations and cultures living on the islands and practicing all of the religions under the sun (including the ones which worship that sun), it’s not the same.
Jenny never grew up learning to look over her shoulder before telling a racially insensitive joke. Most of the people she encountered are Filipino. Plus, I’m pretty sure racially insensitive jokes are exclusive to America. Racists in other parts of the world do far worse things than joke. See a local history book for more information on this topic.
I’ve already reported on my racially targeted encounter whilst in the Philippines. It was the first time in my life I had been the victim. Over there, I’m the minority. My pale skin added to diversity which has previously been nearly empty. Among the see of light brown M&Ms, I was the one the candy factory forgot to add dye to.
The US has many problems. One it’ll never have trouble with is finding a diverse cast to play unlikely friends on a sitcom. The US is a melting pot of diversity and I suppose for the foreign food industry, this is a good thing.
Diversity is a hot-button issue. Many want more variety in their Oscar nominees, politicians, and screenwriters. The interesting thing is, you can only pick from the best. As Filipinos know well, there’s only one choice.
2 thoughts on “Diversity in the Philippines Starts and Ends with Shirt Color”
We get our share of racially insensitive jokes as well. The northerners make fun of the Visayan accent. The Southerners make fun of the frugal Ilocanos. Some make fun of the Chinese-Filipinos (who trace their lineage before the Spanish colonizers) whom they call “Intsik”. A racially insensitive term. Some call Indians (who also trace their ancestors in pre-colonial times) as Bumbay (after the city Mumbai.
For some reason though, even as the West considers the term “Oriental” as racially insensitive, we here do not. Our latest president even used the term to refer to ourselves while discussing our cultural difference with the West. 😦
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Well, I’m glad Americans aren’t the only pigs…err lechons in this world.
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