Thu is geboren en opgegroeid in Saigon, Vietnam en verblijft momenteel in Nederland. Als echte ontdekker probeert ze voortdurend mensen te begrijpen, en vooral die bij een minderheidsgroep horen. Thu brengt graag haar ideeën en verhalen in het leven door middel van schrijven en is met name enthousiast over het in kaart brengen van de Aziatische gemeenschap in westerse samenlevingen.
Why I write about racism? My first encounter with racism in the Netherlands shattered my vision of the Dutch society. For the first time ever, I realized that people of colour (POC) here have trouble getting a word in edgeways – their voices are drowned amidst the cacophony of unfounded stereotypes and prejudice. This encouraged me to become a writer against racism at Asian Raisins. My mission is clear: I aim to educate and raise awareness on racial issues through my articles. Moreover, together with a group of dynamic and talented individuals, I hope to provide more recognition and new perspectives on Asians across the Netherlands.
The need for education and awareness
Racism is fueled by biases, both explicit and implicit. Therefore, racial prejudices may be less intentional than meets the eye. However, people can become more aware of their racial biases through education. Thus, there is always a need for education as a tool for awareness. At Asian Raisins, we provide the necessary information to educate our readers on the discrimination of POC in the Netherlands. By keeping you informed of the struggles and successes within the Asian-Dutch community, my goal as part of Asian Raisins is to create a dialogue about the racial injustice and inequality in the Netherlands and how we can start to fix them.
Providing recognition for Asians
What shocked me when I moved to the Netherlands was the tendency of some to regard Asians as spring roll-making, rice-loving people whose only aspiration is owning a “toko” (Asian food shop). This is called “racial profiling” and it is detrimental to people of marginalised backgrounds. Asian Raisins combats these malicious stereotypes through Asian Praisings, a frequent item that highlights people of Asian origin. By putting these individuals in the spotlight, Asian Raisins provides the recognition and individuality they deserve.
A new perspective
I discovered that the notions surrounding racism in the Netherlands date back to the 40s and 50s. Jibs and jabs such as “pinda” and “sambal bij” (Dutch slurs of Asians) are based on old perceptions of Asians in the Dutch society. Through my articles at Asian Raisins, I hope to paint a new image of Asian people. To me, POC are unique in their culture, their presentation, and their contribution to society. Sadly, this is not said enough in Western society, but I believe this can change through organisations like Asian Raisins.
Every ethnic group, no matter how small, should be able to have a say in society – to get a word in edgeways. Representing Asians and other marginalised groups in the Netherlands and expressing their “say” is also my mission when writing for Asian Raisins, a mission that requires consistency and perseverance, but is nonetheless worthwhile.
Read More Columns
Read more columns such as Kim Hartgring’s “Is ‘Ni Hao’ Zeggen Racistisch?“