OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 25, 2014, 11:19:06 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Word "Oriental" Offensive?  (Read 4333 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,169


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« on: September 18, 2008, 11:28:58 AM »

He was not black African, nor was He Oriental or Native American or Australian Aboriginal. The same goes for His Mother.

Oriental is offensive. Asian. East Asian. We're not rugs or noodles.

I personally had no idea the word "Oriental" was offensive to Asians.  Being an "Oriental" Orthodox myself, I didn't think I consider myself a rug or some noodles (after all, Oriental literally to me means Eastern, so the Byzantine "Eastern" Orthodox can also be "Oriental").

I don't understand the whole rug comment.  Just because a rug is called Oriental, it's now offensive? That's like calling myself Egyptian doesn't mean I'm cotton, or that a certain food can be called Arabic or Greek or Italian makes those words offensive now when you call people Arabic, Greek, or Italian.

I'm sorry, I just don't see the offense.  This is the first impression I get in what you say.

How did this word become so offensive?  Has it caused problems in the past, just as the white man did to black people while using the "n word" against them?

Help me out here.  I'm confused.

God bless.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 11:37:53 AM »

What I'm confused about is how anyone can say that Christ was "not Oriental".
What do people think "The Middle East" means?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 11:42:33 AM »

"Oriental" is Latin for "Eastern," so there's nothing inherently wrong with the word. But it, like "negro" (L. "black"), can be used as a racist epithet. To me, it's all in how the word is used. But I do understand that some can find the word offensive, as I find "Caucasian" as applied to all European-Americans offensive. My family are from the opposite end of Europe from the Caucasus.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Eleos
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Posts: 261


« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 11:48:05 AM »

"Christianity is in the first place an Oriental religion, and it is a mystical religion" - Olivier Clement, first words of the preface of the book The Roots of Christian Mysticism

The Chinese people in my family are not offended and many times refer to themselves as "Oriental". 

Seems like any word can become offensive if said with suspicion, guile and hatred though.

The greater reality is that we are one people regardless of how we divide ourselves. 
Logged

"The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions."-Emperor Haile Selassie To the Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches 1965
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 11:50:37 AM »

Seems like any word can become offensive if said with suspicion, guile and hatred though.
Yes, the problem is not language. The problem is people's hearts.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,169


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 11:53:58 AM »

"Oriental" is Latin for "Eastern," so there's nothing inherently wrong with the word. But it, like "negro" (L. "black"), can be used as a racist epithet. To me, it's all in how the word is used. But I do understand that some can find the word offensive, as I find "Caucasian" as applied to all European-Americans offensive. My family are from the opposite end of Europe from the Caucasus.

Really?  Many applications put "Caucasian" under the ethnicity/race question as one of the options.

Strange how normal words can easily be offensive.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 11:59:00 AM »

"Oriental" is Latin for "Eastern," so there's nothing inherently wrong with the word. But it, like "negro" (L. "black"), can be used as a racist epithet. To me, it's all in how the word is used. But I do understand that some can find the word offensive, as I find "Caucasian" as applied to all European-Americans offensive. My family are from the opposite end of Europe from the Caucasus.

Really?  Many applications put "Caucasian" under the ethnicity/race question as one of the options.

Strange how normal words can easily be offensive.

Cauc-asian is simply a geographical variation of Asian. There are East Asians, South Asians, Southwest Asians (Middle-easterners, e.g.), and Cauc-Asians. Grin
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 12:02:43 PM »

"Oriental" is Latin for "Eastern," so there's nothing inherently wrong with the word. But it, like "negro" (L. "black"), can be used as a racist epithet. To me, it's all in how the word is used. But I do understand that some can find the word offensive, as I find "Caucasian" as applied to all European-Americans offensive. My family are from the opposite end of Europe from the Caucasus.

Really?  Many applications put "Caucasian" under the ethnicity/race question as one of the options.

Strange how normal words can easily be offensive.
Right. They do so to avoid the term "white." Yet they fail to realize that those of us who are descended from the Celts and northern Germanic peoples are not Caucasian in the least. They wouldn't call African-Americans "Congolese," and they wouldn't call East Asian-Americans "Chinese." Why the overgeneralization for European-Americans?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 08:48:46 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,683


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 02:34:59 PM »

Cauc-asian is simply a geographical variation of Asian. There are East Asians, South Asians, Southwest Asians (Middle-easterners, e.g.), and Cauc-Asians. Grin
Yeah, right! Roll Eyes  You expect us to believe that line of BS? Wink
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 02:35:37 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,477


WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 03:40:08 PM »

Cauc-asian is simply a geographical variation of Asian. There are East Asians, South Asians, Southwest Asians (Middle-easterners, e.g.), and Cauc-Asians. Grin

The origin of the word Caucasian is one who hails from the Caucasus mountains and has nothing to do with the continent, Asia.  You probably knew that before posting....   Wink

Etymology of Caucasian

Quote
The mountain range name is from Gk. kaukhasis, said by Pliny ("Natural History," book six, chap. XVII) to be from a Scythian word similar to kroy-khasis, lit. "(the mountain) ice-shining, white with snow." But possibly from a Pelasgian root *kau- meaning "mountain."
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2008, 03:46:47 PM »

Well, to add some spice here, we Laz are Caucasians outright and this one doesn't mind being "Occidental".  Cheesy
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
samkim
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 735



« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 09:30:17 PM »

As far as I know, and as far as my other Asian-American friends know, "oriental" is only used to describe non-persons, like inanimate objects.
Logged

주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,169


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2008, 10:00:17 PM »

As far as I know, and as far as my other Asian-American friends know, "oriental" is only used to describe non-persons, like inanimate objects.

That's what's bugging me  Wink  It is so clear that black people do not want to hear the "n" word because of the reminder of the slavery they endured and the racism they suffered from.  I mean we can't even use the word on an inanimate object.  The word itself has become equivalent to a curse word.

So, that is why I'm asking, was there something along the history of the US, lets say during the Japanese concentration camps, where the word was used in a derogatory manner?

If the ONLY reason for not being called an oriental was because of inanimate objects, then... Huh  All I can say is at the risk of repeating myself, the word "Egyptian" is also used to describe cotton.

Do you see what I mean?  If that is the only reason why Asians feel offended at the title, what would you think how others would think of them?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2008, 10:21:46 PM »

Right. They do so to avoid the term "white." Yet they fail to realize that those of us who are descended from the Celts and northern Germanic peoples are not Caucasian in the least. They wouldn't call African-Americans "Congolese," and they wouldn't call East Asian-Americans "Chinese." Why the overgeneralization for European-Americans?

Well, in a sense it's a rather accurate description, there seems to be a concensus that the indo-european tribe first settled along the black sea and in the southern Caucasus. The consideing the migration path of this tribe, it would seem quite appropriate to identify its descendants as 'caucasians'.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
samkim
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 735



« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2008, 11:15:28 PM »

As far as I know, and as far as my other Asian-American friends know, "oriental" is only used to describe non-persons, like inanimate objects.

That's what's bugging me  Wink  It is so clear that black people do not want to hear the "n" word because of the reminder of the slavery they endured and the racism they suffered from.  I mean we can't even use the word on an inanimate object.  The word itself has become equivalent to a curse word.

So, that is why I'm asking, was there something along the history of the US, lets say during the Japanese concentration camps, where the word was used in a derogatory manner?

If the ONLY reason for not being called an oriental was because of inanimate objects, then... Huh  All I can say is at the risk of repeating myself, the word "Egyptian" is also used to describe cotton.

Do you see what I mean?  If that is the only reason why Asians feel offended at the title, what would you think how others would think of them?

I can only say how it is, bro, not why. Grin
Logged

주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2008, 11:55:57 PM »

As far as I know, and as far as my other Asian-American friends know, "oriental" is only used to describe non-persons, like inanimate objects.

That's what's bugging me  Wink  It is so clear that black people do not want to hear the "n" word because of the reminder of the slavery they endured and the racism they suffered from.  I mean we can't even use the word on an inanimate object.  The word itself has become equivalent to a curse word.

So, that is why I'm asking, was there something along the history of the US, lets say during the Japanese concentration camps, where the word was used in a derogatory manner?

If the ONLY reason for not being called an oriental was because of inanimate objects, then... Huh  All I can say is at the risk of repeating myself, the word "Egyptian" is also used to describe cotton.

Do you see what I mean?  If that is the only reason why Asians feel offended at the title, what would you think how others would think of them?

Here's a relatively well researched (for the internet) article on the issue; http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/545754.html

The jist of it seems to be that it's a North American fad to view the term 'oriental' offensive when refering to people...but not one shared by most the rest of the anglophone world. I would assume that part of this is because of the continued divergence between American and British English this word, which remained common in England whereas Asian became more popular in America, contributed to the perceived exoticness of the term, which seems to be the main point of contention. I'd argue typical American ignorance, but I would have expected those who started the fad (academic elite) to have known better...though perhaps I have too high of expectations.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 11:56:24 PM by greekischristian » Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
sohma_hatori
Earthbending Novice
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Posts: 526


The Blind Bandit


« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2008, 07:54:36 AM »

As far as I know, and as far as my other Asian-American friends know, "oriental" is only used to describe non-persons, like inanimate objects.

Yep. Filipinos call their country "Pearl of the Orient", everytime we sing our National Anthem.  Grin
Logged

""Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it's source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.""
— Iroh- Avatar:The Last Airbender
NDHoosier
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian Patriarchate
Posts: 75


Exiled from God's Country (North Dakota)


« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2008, 10:39:54 AM »

Apparently, the hierarchs of SCOOCH do not think it's offensive....
Logged

There ain't a horse that can't be rode, and there ain't a rider that can't be throwed.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2008, 10:46:49 AM »

Apparently, the hierarchs of SCOOCH do not think it's offensive....

Of course, it's not offensive if "Oriental" is used in relation to particular Christian Churches of the Middle East.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Eleos
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Posts: 261


« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2008, 01:05:00 PM »


The jist of it seems to be that it's a North American fad to view the term 'oriental' offensive when refering to people...but not one shared by most the rest of the anglophone world.
That explains it.  The younger members of my family with or without roots in China don't use the term oriental when referring to people, instead we use Asian, Chinese, Eurasian, Californian, Pacific Rim.  The only time I hear "Oriental" used referring to people from east Asia is by the elders who grew up in WWII era.

Personally I think all attempts to group people fall short ultimately anyway.
Logged

"The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions."-Emperor Haile Selassie To the Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches 1965
Tags: Asian Oriental 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.091 seconds with 48 queries.