About Pet Sins Webzine
Skip navigation and go to main content
Pet Sins May 2005

East Asian biases against Southeast Asians

We've had a few readers write in to tell of their experiences with East Asian prejudice against Southeast Asians. Non-Asians tend to see Asians as homogeneous, but these experiences from our contributors indicate otherwise:

There are many Japanese expatriates who move their families temporarily to Southeast Asia. On returning to Japan, their children are mocked as "dirty" by other Japanese because they regard Southeast Asians as "dirty", and Japanese who come in contact with them as "tainted".

M.N., SE Asia

I have heard Japanese associates comment on the "bad behavior" of Filipinos in Japan - they are "loud", they don't discipline their children like the Japanese do, they express affection more publicly, in general, behavior that makes that Japanese uncomfortable.

R.E., white American expat in Japan

In Singapore, there is a local stereotype that the native Malays are more "lazy" than the immigrant Chinese and Indian communities.

W.H., Singapore

I've heard another Chinese expat say he doesn't like to date Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians because they lack the "drive" and "hardworking mentality" of East Asians, that they have this happy-go-lucky attitude. One of my Thai friends also told me that some Chinese Thais say the native Thais are "lazy" too.

N.L., Chinese expat in US