“I’ll have a half oriental chicken salad and a lemonade.”
He pauses, looks at me.
“Full actually, but a half salad, yes.”
I have never liked the word, “oriental.” I hate it when I have to say the word itself. Most often this is when I have to order some “Asian Inspired Cuisine” from a fusion-trendy restaurant. The very moment the word comes springing from my mouth, it leaves a bad aftertaste. When I say it, I feel as if I’m perpetuating the myth of the “Far East.” In my opinion, it’s not on the level of an ethnic slur–but it is often offensive. It is a word that is past its time. Along with words like, “Negro” and “Colored.”
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It makes me feel dirty–and not in a good way.
As an American Born “Oriental” I’ve got nothing to do with all of those rug stores. Another thing I’ve got nothing to do with is the “oriental” ramen flavor. The other flavors make sense. “Steak” tastes like steak. “Shrimp” (I’m assuming) tastes like shrimp. “Chicken” tastes like, well, chicken.
“Oriental” tastes like. . .
Orient - c.1375, from L. orientem (nom. oriens) "part of the sky where the sun rises," originally "rising" (adj.), prp. of oriri "to rise." The verb is c.1730s, originally "to arrange facing east," from Fr. s'orienter "to take one's bearings," lit. "to face the east" (also the source of Ger. orientierung), from O.Fr. orient "east," from L. orientum. Meaning "determine bearings" first attested 1842. Oriental (adj.) is 14c. from O.Fr. oriental, from L. orientalis "of the east," from orientem. Orientation is from 1839 and originally meant "arrangement of a building, etc., to face east or any other specified direction;" sense of "determine one's bearings" is from c.1870.
If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?
— George Carlin