“The Reluctant Asian” and Identity

This was a good article about identity:

The Reluctant Asian

The writer covers ideas of cultural, national, and ethnic identity. Is one more important than the other? I think it really depends on the individual.

As someone of mixed ethnic, national, and cultural heritage, I find this to be a relevant and engaging topic. Nationally I am Hawaiian. Culturally I grew up in local Hawaiian culture, though I also have a strong Okinawan cultural influence. I additionally spent time in Asian-American settings in Seattle. The Hawaiian national identity itself is under heavy attack from the invasiveness of American culture and politics. Ethnically I am half Asian/Pacific Islander, and half Native Mexican (Nahua). So the topic of identity, and how culture, nationality, and ethnicity plays into it, is quite interesting to me and is something I think about often.

Unlike the writer in the link I posted above, I am not reluctant to identify as Asian. On the contrary, I am quite fond of my Asian identity. But Asian-ness itself is quite varied, with the Asian-Hawaiian identity being very different from the Asian-American identity, and the Okinawan identity being different from Okinawan-Hawaiian, and other Asian ethnicities being different from each other.

I think ultimately identity is something that continues to evolve over time as we get older. At least for me anyway, I’ll probably continue to learn more about my self-identity up until the day I leave this earth.

How do you identify? Between culture, nationality, and ethnicity, does one mean more to you than another? Are there other things that matter more to you in terms of your self-identity? Are there things that you, like the writer in the article I shared, identify with only reluctantly?