Multicultural Musicscape for National Pride: Performing Arts of East-Asian Diasporas in Hawai‘i before WWII

  •  Heeyoung Choi    


This study investigates stage performances of Asian immigrants in the U.S., focusing their cultural interactions in Hawai‘i prior to World War II. Previous studies of Asians in the U.S. during the early twentieth century have focused on their separate ways of preserving homeland culture or presentation of mainstream American culture to express a sense of belonging to the host society and relieve anti-Asian sentiments. Despite increasing cultural interactions in cities during this period, the discussion of cultural exchanges among immigrant communities have received limited attention. This study expands previous perspectives by examining the performing arts to demonstrate that diverse multicultural events in Hawai‘i were important tools to promote respective Asian ethnic groups’ cultural identities, foster interactions among young adults of Asian ancestry, and inspire their national pride. The Asian diasporas in Hawai‘i constituting a majority of the local population, despite foreign-born Asian immigrants’ limited access to U.S. citizenship, appreciated opportunities to curate their own ethnicity on stages and culturally interact with other ethnic groups. The multicultural experiences ultimately instilled the satisfaction and national pride into the young adults of Asian ancestry.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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