a word that simply means "eastern". It refers to anything or anyone from the "East". "Oriental" was first applied mainly to Mesopotamia
and maybe India because those lands were east of the Roman Empire. Later on ancient China was found to be more than a myth and so the previous "Orient" became known as the "Near" or "Middle" East and East Asia was now tagged as the "Orient" or the "Far East". Because of the geography the term "Oriental" came to be applied to the cultural aspects, the peoples and other things from the "Far East". Of course, "Western" is used to refer to anything or anyone from Europe, North America and such.
1. "Oriental" is a term generally applied to the "race"/ethnicities that inhabit the region from Myanmar
) all the way to Korea and Japan. It's a term referring to geography ("East") and is not an offensive or slur word. Some politically correct people in America think it is but I've known some Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and others from the Orient
in college and they do not find the word to be offensive at all.
2. There are groceries and restaurants that specialize in East Asian
food. Many of them use the word "Oriental" on their signs, so apparently they don't see that word as a racial slam, do they?
made in Iran or India are still called "Oriental rugs
". They are nice, huge, heavy and expensive.
4. There's been an Oriental presence and influence in America for a long time. There are Chinatowns, Japanese-American
communities, Vietnamese neighborhoods and Korean neighborhoods on the West Coast states (especially California) and they have been in America for over 160 years. Like all ethnic groups here they have played an important role in making the U.S.A. the great nation that it is today.
5. Also in the Pacific West coast states the Native American peoples have oral traditions detailing of contact with Oriental people long ago. The travellers
were probably Chinese, Japanese and others. Relations with those visitors were pretty good.
6. Oriental nations have given the world many contribution in the fields of sciences, arts, military strategy, medicine and more.