Hapa: A Unique Case of Cultural Appropriation by Multiracial Asian Americans? On embracing a Hawaiian identity without the experience of colonization and inequality.

apa has become a popular term to refer to biracial or multiracial Americans who have partial Asian ancestry. But what are the implications of “borrowing” a Hawaiian term for this purpose?

The word hapa means “half,” “part,” or “mixed” in Hawaiian but has been used by non-Hawaiians to mean someone of part Asian heritage since as early as 1992 with the establishment of the Hapa Issues Forum student activist group at UC Berkeley. Following suit over the course of the past two-and-a-half decades, identity-based clubs with hapa in the name, meant for students of partial Asian descent, have existed at many colleges and universities across the mainland United States, including Brown, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, Tufts, and UCLA.

What are the implications of “borrowing” a Hawaiian term?

Read more By Joanna Eng at consciousstyleguide.com