Your East & Southeast Asian friends.


SIGN THE PETITION to establish ESEA Heritage Month as an annual observance celebrating the history, heritage and social contributions of East and South East Asian (ESEA) communities in the UK, recognised by the government department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and open to everyone to observe.

Don’t forget to share your posts on ESEA Heritage Month on social media by using the hashtag #ESEAHM2021!

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“In a sense the limitations of Orientalism ... follow upon disregarding, essentializing, denuding the humanity of another culture, people, or geographical region.”

Edward W. Said, Orientalism

The word 'oriental' is defined as "of, relating to, or coming from Asia, especially Eastern Asia"


The word today, is too commonly seen in popular culture and the media as a sweeping generalisation of East and Southeast Asia. 

It is a lazy attempt to generalise a region made up of many different countries and cultures. The word contains many implications of fetishisation; of cultures that were previously ridiculed, now seen as exotic and trendy.

"In short, Orientalism is a Western idea projected onto Eastern culture and in turn Oriental is a Eurocentric word projected onto people of Eastern Heritage."

Alice King, Resonate

Other words not to call us/our cultures:
Exotic, ethnic, or other implications of otherness!

What can you say instead?

Be genuine in wanting to learn more about our cultures rather than accept the general 'oriental'.

Be specific! Figure out where in particular you are talking about.

Is it Vietnam, Korea, or Japan?

It's okay if you didn't know. Now you do! We are all unlearning and relearning.