My friend Miyuki Baker (“a queer, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist”) has been traveling around South America as part of her year on the Watson Fellowship. She made a sketched blog post about what it is like being an Asian woman traveling in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru:
Apart from a few exceptions, no matter what your background is within Asia, you are from China! China, chinita, and nihao are all common greetings, as is pulling the edges of one’s eyes up. In Colombia and Ecuador, I was rare, in Argentina I am exotic… on the streets of Buenos Aires, a man called out that he’d love an Oriental woman. Hmm.
Unsurprisingly, this is very gendered. In my travels in Argentina and Uruguay, all I ever got was the occasional “konnichiwa!” and kowtow. My female companions of all ethnic backgrounds would get several catcalls (piropos) a day, and for the women of color this was often explicitly racialized.
Miyuki’s full post and some more on racism against Asians in Argentina after the jump: