Leestijd: 5 minuten

STOP RACISM IN the classroom

We celebrate birthdays with cake, presents and birthday songs to put someone in the spotlight, right? Yet sometimes these songs completely miss the mark; like the song ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’ that stems from persistent and racist stereotypes.

The song shows that racism against East- and Southeast Asians is normalised in the Netherlands. This has to stop.

We recorded a video for the Stop Hanky Panky Shanghai campaign. This video illustrates the feelings that listening to 'Hanky Panky Shanghai' elicits in East- and Southeast Asians: exclusion and, commonly, shame. This video will also be part of the teaching package we made for primary school teachers and pabo students. We encourage you to share this video on your social media or show it to your friends and family!

through the
'stop hanky panky shanghai' campaign, we aim to

create awareness

Raise awareness about the racist nature of this song.

start conversations

Spark conversations about (anti-East and Southeast Asian) racism at school.

ban the song through a petition

Ban the song ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’ from (primary) schools and pabo programs (primary education teacher training programs in the Netherlands).

Generate traction

Shed light on the invisible character of anti-Asian racism.

4.653 ondertekeningen

By banning 'Hanky Panky Shanghai' we fight racism in the classroom and create a more inclusive birthday party for every child.

Will you join us?


Why this campaign?

In short, the goal of the campaign is to ban the racist song
‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’ from schools and pabo programs.

Children shouldn’t be confronted with racism. Because children cannot always verbally express their emotions when they feel hurt or upset, adults are responsible for creating a safe environment.

Racism is unfortunately taught from a young age. Therefore, it’s essential for children that the adults in their life understand that the song ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’ is racist. This is how we make sure that everyone stops singing the so-called birthday song ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’.

Stop Hanky Panky Shanghai - Asian Raisins campagne

By educating adults, we can fight racism within classrooms and contribute to a fun birthday party for every child. You can also contribute!

Follow the campaign

All information about the campaign is shared on Instagram. Do you want to follow how the campagin develops?

Nice! Check our social media:

Stop racism in the classroom

our stories

In 2021, Asian Raisins conducted a survey on experiences with the song ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai. The results show that many East- and Southeast Asians in the Netherlands have negative associations with the song: they feel uncomfortable when it is sung at their own birthday party and at other's. Read about a few experiences below:

“I always hoped that this song would not be sung, but as soon as the teacher moved her hands to her eyes and she encouraged the class to make slanted eyes, I felt my stomach drop: "O no, here we go again"."
“You feel uncomfortable and discriminated against. You feel differend and powerless, because you can't do anything about it without being made fun of or are made to feel that YOU are the problem."
“I never had the words as a child to articulate how it felt. It was mainly a lonely feeling. Being surrounded by people that apparently are singing the song and think that they are doing something completely innocent. Meanwhile, I was the only one that could recognize that the song proves how normalised racial ignorance is in the Netherlands."

supported by

By working together with other organisations and forming alliances, we can make a bigger impact. This way, we can ensure that the problem of racism in education becomes more visible, so we can combat this.
We gained a lot of support from organisations who also believe that ‘Hanky Panky Shanghai’ should be banned from schools. Is your organisation interested in supporting our cause? Let us know or read ‘How can you help’ to see what you can do. Below are organisations (already) in support of our campaign:

STOP RACISM IN the classroom

STOP Hanky Panky Shanghai