In today’s edition of The Japan Times, Kristy Kosaka writes about the half/double dilemma.
My husband and I had a little chat about it this morning at breakfast. “What do you think is the best term for children like ours?” I asked him. “Half, bi, or double?”
Hafu, the Japanese rendition of “half”, is the most common way to describe children with one Japanese parent and one foreign parent. To me, it brings to mind that old Cher song, “Half-breed.” (“Half-breed, how I learned to hate that word,” etc.). My husband, however, has memories of a Japanese musical group from the 70s called Golden Half. Apparently, they were biracial and way cool.
“What about bi?” I asked him. (Actually, this sounds like “bisexual to me,” but I tend to refer to our children as “bicultural.”
“That makes me think about buying something,” he said.
Okay, whatever. “How about ‘double’?” This is a more recent term, one, I believe, that was coined, or at least encouraged by, filmmaker Reggie Life.
For my husband, that would be two fingers of whiskey.
So what do you call your kids?