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Thread: sasha cohen and her heritage

  1. #16
    WindSpirit5
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I'm concerned, a person's ethnicity is wherever they choose to call home. My grandparents on both sides were also Russian Jews, and I was even born in the same hospital as Sasha Cohen, but I consider myself 100% American...period.[/quote] Yes, I too think a person's ethnicity is their choice. But there's a difference between having grandparents of another ethnicity, and a <em>mother</em>. If your language is a second language to your mother, are you really <strong>100%</strong> of that ethnicity? Especially when your mother has been fully involved in your life (wasn't absent, you weren't adopted, etc.) That said, <em>I</em> don't care if Sasha Cohen has Ukrainian, Russian or whatever, roots. I just think she has a style (IMO it's her style more than the choreography) that for whatever reasons speak to quite a few Europeans. And <em>for me</em> it has nothing to do with her mother being Ukrainian. When Sasha's skating caught my eye I had no idea she was anything more than American (everyone can name their child Sasha). I just thought that she had this artistic (even if not fully developed), fierce but graceful at the same time, with a balletic line, full of passion and little "oompha" style.

    As for your examples of not "claming one as your own", I wouldn't be so sure. Do you speak Japanese, Czech, Bulgarian or Polish so you know what they say home about those skaters? I think that every country likes to acknowledge those roots when one of their "own" (more or less, or even very little) has achieved something big. Why do you think we are always reminded that Yagudin lives and trains in America, speaks fluent English, loves America and wants to stay here, etc.? Americans claim him too, even if he repeats over and over again that's he's Russian.

  2. #17
    Kay118
    Guest

    claim as one of your own


    I think every country likes to acknowledge famous people with their heritage. Michelle is as popular as a figure skater can get in China and the media never forgets to mention she is Chinese American. They always use her Chinese name - Guan Yingshan. Even Tiffiny Chin got some publicity when she competed. Figure skating almost didn't exist in China back then

  3. #18
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: claim as one of your own


    don't know why the second half didn't make it. Here it is:

    figure skating almost didn't exist. The only reason Tiffiny was in the news was because of her Chinese heritage.

    But there is a subtle difference b/w "acknowledging someone's heritage" and "attributing someone's success to the heritage." From what I remember, the Chinese media never claimed "Michelle is a great skater because of her heritage". It was more like "She is a great skater and she has Chinese heritage".

    Maria B's comment is more or less like "Sasha has great style because of her heritage". To cut her some slack, though, the Russians are too darn good at skating. The Chinese are not so good so technically they can't attribute Michelle's success to her Chinese heritage. It may be a different story if Michelle is the world's best Ping Pong player :rollin:

  4. #19
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: claim as one of your own


    Kay -- :rollin: :rollin:

    Mathman

  5. #20
    JOHIO2
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Hi Idle,

    The Chinese have made a big deal over Michelle. She got quite a welcome and lots of media coverage there, especially since she can actually speak Chinese!

    Wasn't she just there in the past year???? Someone save me from a senior moment!

  6. #21
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Jo,

    Michelle went to Hong Kong last December to promote Disney. She was interviewed by CNN Asia and got great publicity for her trip. She speaks some Cantonese because her parents were from Hong Kong. I don't think she speaks Mandarin though. But that doesn't prevent her from being popular in mainland China :D

    Kay

  7. #22
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Oh dear, since Paula forbade me from mentioning religion even subtly on this board, I don't know if I could post on this topic. On the one hand, Jewishness is an ethnicity. On the other hand, there's no denying there's a strong religious component. Now I'm truly perplexed.

  8. #23
    Ptichka
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Fetal, WELCOME BACK!!!

    I think that by definition being "American" is being a part of the cultural mix you are from. When we look at Michelle, we see an Asian American, so we don't wonder if it matters that she is of Asian decent. By the same token, I am sure that Galina Cohen greatly influenced her daughter's understanding of the aesthetic; she might have also been more enthusiastic than most moms to see her daughters skate as opposed to, say, play hockey. In other words there is no contradiction between Sasha being a 100% red blooded American, and her being influenced by her Jewish Ukranian roots (I, too, am using "Jewish" as ethnicity; if someone is more interested in this subject, I'd be happy to take it up in the cafe).

    Russian Fan, what kind of an article was it that you read???!!! In Judaism it only matters that the mother has to be Jewish, nobody cares about the father (makes sense from the evolutionary prespective, since the mother's identity is always a given). And in Sasha's case both her parents are Jewish anyway. Hmmm...

  9. #24
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    One question, if Michelle's Chinese name is Guan Yingshan, what does that mean in English?

    As to the Jewish deriving ethnicity from the maternal side, it reminds me of an old Yankee saying my dad used to quote:

    "It's a wise child that knows its own father."

    dpp

  10. #25
    mike79
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    It doesn't matter to me one way or another as long as she continues to skate like she has, although I'm sure if she does have a Russian background it could be a genetic factor in her being such an artistic skater. There is something about Russian skaters and the way they can really connect with the music they skate to that is wonderful.

  11. #26
    berthes ghost
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Wow! Perhaps someday someone can explain to me how T&M profoundly connect to thier music in a way that Lulu and Brian Orser don't. :rollin:

  12. #27
    Russian Fan
    Guest

    Sasha


    The paper is Forward, it's a New York Weekly. Actually, it also said that Irina occasionally wears the star of David. I wonder if you can cross and wear the star of David at the same time?
    Does anyone know?

    And the question to mike 79. How can Sasha have a genetic Russian factor if she's Jewish and was born in America?
    What do you mean by Russian genetic factor?

  13. #28
    peachstatesk8er
    Guest

    Re: Sasha


    I took the genetic thing to mean that Sasha's mom being Russian/Ukranian contributed 1/2 half of Sasha's genetic makeup, therefore she's got a genetic factor. Maybe he meant something else, but that's how I took it.

  14. #29
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: Sasha


    Doris,

    "One question, if Michelle's Chinese name is Guan Yingshan, what does that mean in English?"

    Here is the answer:

    Guan is the Mandarin version of Kwan, her last name.
    Ying: Intelligent. A popular name for girls
    Shan: Also a popular name for girls. It doesn't have any real meaning by itself but is often used with other words. For example "Shan Hu" means coral. On some other occasions, "Shan" also means "late or move slowly but in an elegant manner".

    I think her Chinese name fits her perfectly - intelligent, elegant, but kind of slow in some of her elements aka spins

  15. #30
    Idleracer
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    <font size=4>[b]<font color="#00C060">Anyone who wishes to prove to me that this whole argument isn't silly will have to answer these two questions:
    1. How come everyone with a Russian ancestry can't skate like that?
    2. How come she isn't a chess champion as well?<font size=2>

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