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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Meaning of Multiculturalism--Guest Post by Jess C Scott

Today is a very special day for our blog, Amaterasu, and we're very excited! Why, you ask? Because the very talented artist and self-published author Jess C. Scott will be guest posting in Amaterasu today and she will be talking about Multiculturalism and its meaning. Interesting, right? Take a few minutes and read what she has to say.

As I've mentioned before, I was very intrigued with the mention/use of Kpop an an integral part of the story, so here's Jess discussing why it was in her book, and why its not just Kpop, but something bigger than that. :)

And please join me in welcoming her to our blog!

If you're interested, you can view my review of her YA Novel, 1: The Intern, here. It's the first book off her series, The Seven Deadly Sins (Sins07), about Lust.

BOOK SUMMARY: A 17-year-old intern must choose between trusting an irresistibly suave dance instructor—or her instincts. SINS07 is a series featuring lighthearted tales that explore each of the seven sins in order, beginning with lust.

My most recent publication is a YA novel titled, 1: The Intern, part of a SINS07 “seven deadly sins” series. Kai (who graciously read/reviewed the book) was interested to know my reasons for making references to K-pop (also known as Korean Pop) in the book. There are many great music/dance styles out there—why K-pop?

I guess it’s not just K-pop I wanted to feature, but multiculturalism (with the whole Sins07 series, not just the first book). Perhaps the question should be: why is multiculturalism something Jess C Scott feels so strongly about?

Maybe it’s because I am not “100%-(ethnically)-anything.” My dad is Chinese, and my mother is Eurasian. From a young age, I’ve been very aware of and open to different ethnic races and cultures.

I grew up in Singapore, where multiculturalism always contained an aspect of ‘racial harmony’. That was good, but things changed as I got older (I’ll turn 24 next month)—I wanted to have a better understanding of the term: “multiculturalism.”

Here are a few factors that are “multicultural,” with regards to the Sins07 series:

[x] The 5 dance members (in 1: The Intern) are: Asian, Black, White, Hispanic, Mixed.

[x] Book #2 may be set in Borneo/Asia (I need the action to happen there, if it’s an important part of the plot!).

[x] Book #3 may feature a lead guy from South America (or Turkey / a country from the Ottoman Empire—depending on what I’d like his background to consist of).

Maybe my mixed heritage contributes to my interest in traveling, and in different cultures. It makes me feel more “connected” to humanity. Presenting cultures around the world—in a non-stereotypical way—is one of the things I’d like to aim for, with the Sins07 series. Because I’ve always believed that all races need to be equally represented in the mass media, especially when this MASS MEDIA is GLOBAL.

In the world of business/commercialism, money is power. It’s a dollars game. Corporate greed destroys everything that lies in the way, in the pursuit of money and profits. Are concepts like money and pop culture really more important than the people and history of a unique ethnic culture?

No matter what a person’s race/religion/cultural background is, I’ve always aimed to write for people who want something real, not what society or the media brainwashes everyone into thinking “is real.” With 1: The Intern, it is my personal way of introducing people to not just K-Pop, but to the whole concept of real multiculturalism itself. Not multicultural in the “I’m exotic, therefore I must be hot,” or “I’m open to the concept of multiculturalism, because I read (or watched) Memoirs of a Geisha (or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo),” type of way.

I’ve seen a lot of racist comments posted online, on celebrity gossip/entertainment websites, YouTube, etc. The next paragraph is directed to these people [so if you’re not a racist, or xenophobe, worry not—I’m not talking to you here :)!].

There will always be racists (those who believe that race accounts for differences in human character or ability, and that a particular race is superior to others), and/or xenophobes (a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples). The thing is: we live in the internet era now. You will see people of all races working hard, and getting ahead in life. Hard work ethic does not “prefer” any race over another. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to each person to do what they want with it. While you sit there griping about “yet another (insert insulting adjective + ethnic race here)” making it big, what have YOU done, throughout the time that this person has been working to achieve something? Throughout history, people who maintain superiority by bullying others, tend not to be able to hold on to their power forever. And often (pardon the cliché), history has a way of repeating itself.

As you can see, the K-Pop element in 1: The Intern extends FAR beyond Korean music... but with each new reader of my work (regardless of their cultural background, and regardless of whether they love or loathe my work—I tend to draw quite extreme reactions from people...)...that’s another person I’ve exposed to something new/culturally unique. And maybe, some readers along the way will greatly enjoy and appreciate this aspect of “multiculturalism.” That is what I work so hard to do. That is the work I want to stand by. That is what I want to leave behind.

And one of the things that keeps me going through all this work? K-Pop music playing in the background...

Author Bio:

Jess identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on the SINS07 series, as well as an urban fantasy project featuring cyberpunk elves. Her novella, The Devilin Fey, hit #1 in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in Bargain Books” in July 2010.


Wasn't that a nice read? It sure is! Thanks Jess for that wonderful guest post! Kpop changes my life in so many ways, and I'm glad that there are more people out there who appreciates not just the music, but the diverse and unique culture other than our own.

Check out Jess' other books here.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me -- I do believe this is one of the longer/"passionate" guest posts I've written :P

    I've another one on the global aspect of the series @

    That one was slightly more formal, heh.

  2. hey jess,

    I'll check that out too! and thanks for that amazing guest post. and I just realized as I was reading your guest post... that I'm older than you. Haha!


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