‘Half Asian’? ‘Half White’? No ‘Hapa’

In recent years, though, hapa has become a term mixed-race people in Hawaii are proud to embrace. I learned the word in Hawaii, where I spent my elementary school years being one of the “whitest” kids in my school in Waialua, Hawaii. I would later move to Kansas and become the only “Asian” in my fifth-grade class. My white friends held their noses at the kimbap my mom sent on special occasions. Even now, friends marvel at their incompetence with chopsticks before vowing to marry Asian men because “mixed babies are so cute!”


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