8th Century CE Rock Cut Graves and St. Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham, Lancashire, 6.8.18.
This rocky headland possesses distinctive rock cut graves and the ruins of an 8th century chapel that was extended in the 10th century. A hogback stone in the nearby church suggests this was a site visited by Vikings or at least influenced by them.
I was scrolling through my Instagram feed last year when I saw them: photo after photo of my POC (people of color) friends’ Thanksgiving tables, decked out with not just turkey and stuffing, but the traditional dishes of their culture.
One Korean family served bright red radish kimchi; an Egyptian family prepared dozens of stuffed grape leaves; and one Taiwanese family included takeout mapo tofu — probably a potluck addition from a guest.
For many immigrant families, Thanksgiving is a time to take part in an American tradition, but it’s also a great excuse to gather and eat the foods of their culture with friends and family. For some POCs, that’s the best part of the holiday — a time when you can literally mash the cultures together on your plate.
Your Turn: What traditional dishes will be on your family’s table? Which dish are you looking most forward to eating? Share your multicultural Thanksgiving with us on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MyPOCThanksgiving and we may feature it on NPR next week.
Sun in the houses: your ego & how you identify yourself
Sun in the 1st: You often find yourself wondering “Who am I?”. Your sense of self-identity is very very important to you, and if you don’t feel that you have a good idea of who you are, where you belong, and what you’re worth, you’ll feel lost and hopeless. You have the ability to be confident without being arrogant. If you’re undeveloped, you may have an over-developed ego, and an abrasive personality. On the opposite end, you may have low self-esteem, identity crises, insecurity, feeling worthless or powerless.
Sun in the 2nd: You identify yourself by the things you value and the things you HAVE. This can mean attaching your identity to your possessions and money, but it doesn’t have to! If you value happiness, honesty and loyalty, you’ll identify yourself as those things. You DO have the ability to identify yourself by more important things than wealth. Tying your identity to materials often leads to feeling like you never have enough, no matter how much you gain, and taking a financial/material loss as a blow to your ego.
Sun in the 3rd: You identify yourself by your ability to learn, communicate, and work effectively in your environment. You’re always looking for things to learn about, and share that information via writing, teaching, etc. You NEED a proper outlet to let your thoughts out. Your need to communicate can help you form easy connections with people. If this placement is unbalanced, you may believe that your ideas are the ONLY right ones so you reject others’ ideas, or you may hold back your own ideas out of fear of being criticized.
Sun in the 4th: You identify and express yourself through whatever things, places, or people make you feel safe and protected from harm to your ego. This usually ends up being certain people or your home, so you are very tightly bound to your home & whoever you call family. It’s easy for you to lock yourself up at home, and cling to the support that the people there give you instead of getting yourself out there. You have to learn to be yourself without relying on your home safety net and find security in yourself instead.
Sun in the 5th: You find your identity in your creations. You feel your best expressing yourself without anything restricting you from throwing your entire self into your creative outlets. This can range from art, performances, hobbies, and your children (if you have them). If overdeveloped, you may become cocky, prideful, and boastful when it comes to your creations. On the other hand, you may be insecure in your own creativity, so you seek recognition of your talents from others, and you crash when you’re not acknowledged.
Sun in the 6th: You find your identity in your work and the service you can provide. You make it a big personal goal to continuously improve yourself and your quality of work, and you feel most fulfilled when you’re using your abilities to somehow make things better. You might not be totally secure in your abilities, so you overextend and tire yourself out striving for perfection. On the other hand, you might be so confident in your abilities that you believe you’re superior and the ONLY one who can get things done.
Sun in the 7th: You identify yourself by the company you keep. You have a strong attachment to the relationships you have with people, whether it’s friends or partner(s), or even acquaintances. You feel most fulfilled when you’re around people and forming connections. You can be very cooperative and inclusive when you’re at your best. When at your not-so best, you have trouble separating your identity from your relationships. You may lose your sense of individuality & become a copy of the people you know, admire, and love.
Sun in 8th: You pride yourself on your great capacity for depth, & awareness of things that go beyond surface level. You feel most fulfilled when you’ve gained a sense of control, & understanding of things that are deeper than the mundane, superficial things we deal with every day. You have the potential to understand the hidden parts of yourself and others. You may obsess over the idea of completely losing yourself in an intimate relationship, or you may overuse your ego to control and have power over others.
Sun in the 9th: You identify yourself by the things you’ve experienced and the things you understand. You feel most yourself when you’re doing things that expand your horizons, things like traveling, learning about cultures, religions, justice, structures of societies, etc. Your drive to explore things outside of your personal life can give you a lot of insight and flexibility. You may deal with feeling insecure and insignificant in the bigger picture, or an overdeveloped ego may reject beliefs that challenge your own beliefs.
Sun in the 10th: You identify yourself by your achievements and goals you’ve accomplished. You feel good when you’ve reached a goal, a certain level or status, or done a good job, and you probably don’t feel that great when you haven’t met your own or others’ expectations. Your drive and productivity can take a dip if your ego is bruised or self-esteem is low. You may ONLY feel good about yourself if you’re successful in something, which can mean that you constantly push and overwork yourself, never satisfied with your success.
Sun in the 11th: You identify yourself by the communities or social groups you belong to. You feel fulfilled when you’re involved in some sort of project, organization, or social movement that you can make a difference in and feel like you’re serving a purpose to better society. You want to belong to a community and use your ideas to make big changes. But you might end up letting the group absorb your entire identity and losing yourself, or you may be uncooperative and take all of the credit for group work so you can feed your ego.
Sun in the 12th: Your identity doesn’t come easily to you. You often find yourself reflecting, thinking things over to try and figure it out. You may see yourself as one tiny piece in the enormous puzzle of life, and you feel like you’re wandering without a solid sense of yourself. On the bright side, it’s not likely for you to be prideful! You have the ability to serve a greater purpose without your ego getting in the way. It is very important for you to get a sense of your identity instead of withdrawing and never asserting yourself.
You can get away with calling something “white trash” in polite company, on cable television and in the headline of a magazine article. An article in The New Republic once posed the question of whether President Trump might be “a white trash icon.” For some reason, the term manages to come across as less offensive than most other racial slurs.
Yet “white trash” could be called the Swiss army knife of insults. It’s deft in its ability to demean multiple groups at once: white people and people of color; poor people and people who “act” like poor people; rural folks and religious folks and anyone without a college degree.
So why does “white trash” still get thrown around without much pushback?
To every person who used to identify as ace or aro but doesn’t anymore,
I love you! Your time in and contributions to the ace/aro community are still worthwhile. Your honesty isn’t affirming the stereotype that all ace/aro people are just repressed. You aren’t ‘betraying’ ace/aro communities. You’ve come to a better and more comfortable understanding of yourself and that deserves nothing but celebration. I hope that the ace/aro identity and space helped you understand who you are better.
Hello–I’m half Lao, half White. My mom immigrated here from Laos in 1980, when she was around 8/9 years old.
A lot of Lao beauty standards are very Eurocentric (and thus colorist), due to the colonialism present at the time. Big eyes, pale skin, and small noses are desirable, all of which are not common to Lao. We have big, flat noses, light to dark brown skin (or mixed kids like me, who really good at tanning), and small eyes. The pale skin is the most harmful–things ranging from lighter makeup than natural to straight-up mild bleach in lotions or creams.
In my opinion, Lao food is the best stuff on the planet. A lot of SE Asian food is similar, but not the same. However, I’ve found that the Lao and Thai have the spice kicked up to an 11. My mom is an amazing cook, having learned from her parents. Some of my favorite things to eat are laab, sticky rice, grilled chicken, mango sticky rice, papaya salad (literally the SPICIEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN. No joke), eggrolls, springrolls, and my grandma’s homemade beef jerky.
One of the first things we’ll do, and I’ve found is true for most other Lao and Thai people I’ve met, is offer someone food if they’re over at our house. Hospitality, hospitality.
Laos is mainly a victim to geography and circumstance. Without an outlet to the sea, they’re pretty much cornered every time a conflict comes round. We’ve been colonized by the French, so recently that many of my grandpa’s formal papers are in French as well as Lao.
My personal family history is very interesting, too. Due to the political upheaval in Laos, caused by the Vietnam war and a load of other problems, my grandparents decided it was best to flee the country. All of their kids were born in Laos, and when they escaped, the youngest was two years old. They escaped in the night over the Mekong River into Thailand, risking death by drowning in the river, swollen by the Rainy Season, or being shot by both Lao and Thai border guards. They were in Thailand for several months, then sent to the Philippines, and after a year in refugee camps, finally arrived in California (where I was born). Because of how young they were when they left, my uncles and mom can’t read or write Lao, but they all speak it fluently. My grandparents lived there until this past year.
Family is important in Laos, but also pretty loose. “Family” could be anyone. People who grew up in the same village, or maybe old time friends, could be considered family. In fact, for ten years I grew up thinking that I had an extra set of second cousins when we weren’t even related at all. One of my great ??? grandparents had 11 children. My grandpa comes from a patchwork family with several different mothers, having at least 10 children.
Because of my Swedish last name, people know that I’m half white, half something else, but they usually can’t pin it down. I lived the first three years of my life in California, surrounded by my grandparents, uncles, and attended a Lao-speaking Christian church. When we moved to D.C., the Lao population was significantly lesser. There are lots of other ethnic groups here, making the diversity one of my favorite things about D.C., but very few Lao. Sometimes it feels like I’m not Asian enough to participate in spaces for PoC, like I’m intruding. But I also know that I’m not 100% white, and that being biracial makes me no less of either than the next.
My parents both speak Lao, my mom because she was raised in it, and my dad because of his missionary work. He can read and write, and speak fairly well. None of us kids can speak, read, or write, but we can understand small bits and pieces and little phrases, but not enough for conversation.
Things I’d like to see less of
Biracial and Asian fetishism is definitely annoying.
In Asian circles, I’d like to see waaaaaay less colorism and antiblackness. Just because we’re also not white, doesn’t mean we get a free pass on racism toward other groups.
In Western media, I hate the white savior complex, “Smart Asian” stereotype, and blatant forms of racism (“ching chong” ring a bell?). Something more minor, but still annoying, is “can you say something in (insert language)?” because they’re usually wrong, and say Korean or Vietnamese (I’M NEITHER) and because that question is so painfully vague. I could call your mother a water buffalo, for all you know.
Things I’d like to see more of
SE Asian representation in general. We tend to be sidelined, or ignored. I wish there were more SE Asian creators out here, for us to finally have our spotlight.