I’m an Islander…


…from the  British Isles,  the term ‘Islander’  means  ‘me’, ‘us’.    It’s an understood, rarely articulated, thing when you are born and raised on a group of islands with other islanders that  islander is the in-group.

In Seattle I heard people refer to Islanders and knowing they  weren’t referring to me I  implicitly assumed they were referring to their own version of ‘us’ – people from the nearby San Jaun Islands.    


They were refering to what I’ve subsequently learned from Immigration forms  is an ethnic category: Pacific Islanders.    Indigenous peoples of  Pacific Islands,  including, but limited to Hawaii, excluding the  San Juan archipelago.    

In Seattle you don’t need to  include the word Pacific when referring to Pacific Islanders because there is sufficient context for others to  know this classification. This use of Islander as ‘you’ or ‘them’ is an understood, rarely articulated, thing when most locals are not born and raised on  an Island.      By its very nature as an island,  world-wide, Islander naturally describes  the out-group.  

Islander most commonly means  ‘them’, not ‘us’.  

I’m an Islander…
rate wendys scribble

one wonderful muse on “I’m an Islander…”

  1. jon writes:

    you may be an islander, but
    on this island
    “them” are they, “us” are these, and Islanders are little aeroplanes.

    p.s. my mum would be most upset about mispelling the island, but thanks for the piccy!



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