#Augvocacy2019: Messages My Current Filipino Fantasy Hopes to Give Readers

#Augvocacy2019: Messages My Current Filipino Fantasy Hopes to Give Readers

I’ve been a writer ever since I can remember, but I’ve only recently started writing characters who are Filipino or Indian. All of the characters in my previous stories have always been of the generic Western race. Back then, it never struck me that this was wrong. After all, why should I question it when a majority of the books I read featured Western characters?

But as I began to explore and develop my writing, I realized that what kept me from writing about people like me was the fear of being othered. I didn’t want people to look at my work and to criticize how I represented Filipinos or Indians because I was only half of both.

But here’s the thing, writing about people like me went beyond our skin tone or language. When I wrote about people like me, I found that I was able to talk about the country’s culture; I was able to showcase our political climate; our economic inequalities; through my characters, I was able to call out prejudice, privilege, and abuse.

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#Augvocacy2019: How Seeing Love for Asian Books in the Book Community Makes Me Feel Loved as an Asian

#Augvocacy2019: How Seeing Love for Asian Books in the Book Community Makes Me Feel Loved as an Asian

I think we can all agree that there could be a lot more Asian representation in books, though we’ve come a long way.

But even though I will never stop fiercely advocating for more, because those stories deserve and need to be told, I think this also makes the representation we do have all the more special and meaningful.

I’ve been reflecting on why people supporting diverse books—something that should be done all the time—makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and I think it boils down to this: Seeing love for books about an underrepresented group of people makes them feel loved.

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YARC 2019: (Late) Midyear Giveaway & July-to-August book links

YARC 2019: (Late) Midyear Giveaway & July-to-August book links

Let me preface this with a huge, huge apology. The delay in releasing the monthly link-up post (i.e. there was no post for July) was intentional, but on behalf of the YARC team, I am sorry for taking so long to explain the reason behind this delay. Oof.

But I digress. My (amazing) co-hosts and I were trying to whip up a massive, international midyear giveaway as a humble token of appreciation for all the lovely participants of this year’s YARC. This ambitious endeavor turned out to be a little bit more complicated and time-consuming than we anticipated, especially because we were all absolutely committed in ensuring that our giveaway is open to international readers.

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#Augvocacy2019: Part-Time Diary of a Fat Indian Girl

#Augvocacy2019: Part-Time Diary of a Fat Indian Girl

Content warning: body shaming; fat shaming; mentions of eating disorders; mentions of PTSD

Fat. That is not a word that ever encourages a good response from anyone hearing it. Since god knows when, fat has been equated with unhealthy, displeasing, unaesthetic, and ugly. We’ve seen/read people compliment someone by saying, “You’re beautiful even though you’re fat.” As if being beautiful and being fat are two mutually exclusive things with just a few exceptions. As if someone cannot be beautiful or handsome or good looking just because they’re fat.

Fat people face a lot of scrutiny everywhere, but women especially more so — at least, in my experience. Women are expected to be shaped into the perfect mould that society has created for them — smart, intelligent, virtuous, but most of all, beautiful and pleasing to look at. That’s something that needs to be unpacked separately, so for now, we’ll concentrate on the beautiful part of the equation.

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#Augvocacy2019: Finding Yourself & Embracing Your Identity When Growing up in a Different Country

#Augvocacy2019: Finding Yourself & Embracing Your Identity When Growing up in a Different Country

Hi there! I’m Tracy, a book blogger over at Truffle’s Literary Wonders and I am Mauritian (Chinese Mauritian/Sino Mauritian – Mauritian).

I come from a tiny little country in the middle of nowhere made up of various cultures but mostly stemming from China, India, Africa, and Europe. So, it’s a bit of a cocktail of cultures. Short story is, this little island was colonised by the French and then the English (after both the Portuguese and the Dutch ate all the Dodos — yes that’s where they come from — and decided to leave) and so they brought many slaves and workers from Africa, and many people from Asia came down to work there.

So, there are a lot of cultures there, and I happen to be mixed Chinese, where my father’s side is Mauritian Chinese and my mother’s side is mixed European and African. But I basically look like a mixed Asian because nobody can ever tell where I’m from. However, I now live in Australia.

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#Augvocacy2019: Identity on the Margins – Finding Your Own Voice

#Augvocacy2019: Identity on the Margins – Finding Your Own Voice

One of the first questions that strangers usually ask me when they meet me is, “Where are you from?” If I’m feeling cheeky or contrary, I shoot back, “Where do you think?”

I’ve gotten answers ranging from Colombia, Mexico, Lebanon, India (close), Pakistan (closer) and sometimes, when I’ve spoken Hindi in front of them and they’re Hindustani themselves, Fiji(-ian Indian… jackpot!) And if they know my last name (Khan) then they probably know my religion as well: Muslim. It’s something that comes up surprisingly little in conversations outside of my home. Although it’s an integral part of myself, it’s not written on my skin. Moreover, there’s no visible identifier because I don’t wear the hijab. However, it comes up in discussion when I talk about my dietary restrictions, holiday plans and the reason I avoid alcohol.

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#Augvocacy2019: Growing up British-Chinese & Finding Representation in Mixed-Race Characters

#Augvocacy2019: Growing up British-Chinese & Finding Representation in Mixed-Race Characters

To introduce myself, I’m Debbie and I’m biracial (or mixed-race/ethnicity) — Chinese and British. With two immigrant parents (kind of) — my mum being from Hong Kong and my Dad from Scotland (hence the kind of). Over the last few months I’ve seen influencers on various platforms talk about their Eastern Asian heritage and how it’s influenced their upbringing. However, it has mostly been from completely Asian influences (as in full Chinese/Korean/etc rather than mixed), so I was inspired to do the same but from the perspective of someone who’s mixed-race. In addition, I want to detail my past relationship with my heritage — why I ultimately love it — and also media representation of mixed-race characters.

As a disclaimer, I live in London and have done so all my life — meaning that I’ve been raised in a diverse culture, so racism isn’t quite so prevalent compared to other cities/areas. This means that, for obvious reasons, my experiences will differ a lot from other people; however, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of crossover which I’m going to touch on.

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