Would You Like Some Rice With That? To be young and Asian in America is a special brand of torture. There is an unspoken dictum of silence that grips Asian youth, a denial of our place in popular culture. Asian youth walk in America not quite sure where we fit in-black children have a particular brotherhood, Hispanic children have a particular brotherhood, white children own everything else. We cannot lay claim to jazz or salsa or swing; we cannot say our ancestors fought for equality against an oppressive government or roamed the great hallways of power across the globe. We do not have a music, a common hero, a lexicon of slang. Asian youth experience personal diasporas every day.
Growing up as an Asian American, I often struggle to identify my own cultural identity. Being the first generation of both my mother and father’s side of the family, I more than often get confused between American and Asian culture when applying them to society or at home. While being raised at home, I am largely influenced by culture and traditions from Asian parents and relatives. However, when I go to school or someplace else, I am heavily judged for practicing part of my Asian culture because it is entirely different than western or American. With that being noted, I began to learn and adapt to the western culture in hopes of fitting with society as well of trying to keep my Asian culture intact. As can be seen, this situation I dealt with is the same problem the whole Asian American community faces. Mainly focusing on younger generations like me for example, the Asian American community struggles to adapt to the western culture because they were raised with an Asian influence. Wishing to fit in society and be part of the social norms, the Asian Americans community faces issues that identify their cultural identity.
My name is Richard Hu: I am 30 years old and I am Asian American. This means that I am both Asian, and American. According to Park (2005), the latest census proclaimed that Asian Americans cover more than 4.1% of the population. In its totality that is 11.3 million people. Much like Park (2005) states, “we are not a new phenomenon: Asians have been apart of the U.S landscape from as early as the 17th century … the irony is that we remain “strangers from a distant shore””(p. My parents were born in Korea but relocated in order to give our family more opportunity to excel. I, like many others in my heritage consider myself to be a 1st generation immigrant. However, growing up in the suburbs of Hillsborough California I began to lose my sense of self. It wasn’t until I was much older that I began to identify with my Asian Culture. I whole heartedly feel that Park (2005) said it best when she argued that “Our perceived “foreign-ness” accentuates our “two–worldness”... not Asian enough to repatriate, not “American” enough to integrate” (p. 4). Although it still isn’t an easy concept for people to grasp, over the years I have learned to be more understanding of my Asian American upbringing (Question 1).
Some years ago at one of our frequent family dinners, my paternal grandmother grumbled something in Korean to my mother. Now, after twenty-plus years of exposure to Korean and other foreign languages buzzed about, I've grown quite adept at tuning out most of it, but this time my ears perked up; I heard my name mentioned. I asked my mother, "What did she say?" She muttered, "Nothing, never mind. Eat more spinach." Undeterred by her concern for my dietary habits, I insisted on knowing what my grandmother had said about me, because I could tell by her tone that it was not very flattering. After some persistence, my mother told me my grandmother said that I have no "cultural identity." I could see my grandmother eyeing me from across
“Mom, why is she so dark like fillipino if she’s korean like me?”, “I thought asians were suppose to be smart”, “Since your last name is Kim are you related to Kim Jong Un?”. These were some of the comments I’ve heard growing up in, my whole life. Not
Like many American-born-Chinese children, I did not seem to realize and accept that being Chinese and American was possible and it was something to be proud, not ashamed, of. In Rodriguez’s terms, “ I became more tactful, careful to keep separate the two very different worlds of my day” (598). When I was at school, I portrayed myself as another person than who I was at home. In school, I pushed myself to keep a facade just to make my peers believe I was no different from them; I wanted to be white and share the same ideals as they did. Being surrounded by a drastically different group of people from your own in school leads one to feel ostracized. The ethics and lessons from school is thoroughly enlightening, but you have to give and take. Rodriguez left his heritage behind which widened the gap between his family, yet in return he received a higher
At first the topic was innocent and held no real attachments, but something clicked. The more I researched the more I felt connected to the paper. The research paper had unknowingly emptied me out of what I use to shamefully hide. I am an Asian-American teenage girl living in a predominantly Latinx city. All my life, I was surrounded by their culture and people. My only real exposure to Asian culture was at home, but that was still minimal. When I entered high school, I became very aware of my presence in Lawrence. I was different from almost everyone in the city. I lacked the curly hair and the caramel skin, and when I spoke my native language it did not sound like theirs. I felt singled out and became embarrassed to be Vietnamese. I wanted to fit in as much as
The identity crisis occurs when individuals are facing the dilemma of either of the culture to make some fundamental decisions. From certain angle it is more severe on second generation Asian Americans than the first generation Asian Americans. According to Justin Chan, a second-generation Chinese American, she states that to build a bicultural identity is actually a balancing act for her. In order to feel more comfortable in both cultural groups, second-generation Asian Americans choose to identify differently when facing different people. They need to punctuate their “American side” when dealing with non-Asian peers and also punctuate their “Asian side” at home when facing their families. This kind of balancing act is widely applied to second-generation Asian Americans.
Moving from Los Angeles to Chicago for my dad’s work left me marred with a longing for year-round sunshine, palm trees, and mountainous horizons – things that most Midwesterners can’t even imagine. As a Korean and Caucasian, I leave people confused with which racial slurs to throw at me (“white rice” is the most clever one yet). In first grade, my parents pulled me from school to teach me how to think for myself through homeschooling. Ironically, it was with this same sentiment that I applied eight years later to Chicago Hope Academy, another place where I’d be different. As a sophomore transfer, I was unfamiliar with rappers like Drake, Eminem, or Tupac everyone around me praised. I wasn’t used to words like “finna,” let alone the Spanish spoken by my soccer teammates as I was the only Asian-Caucasian in the student body. But at this time in my life, I realized that you learn the most about yourself when you're surrounded by those who are different from you. Several years later, my closest friends include an avid atheist (and former Buddhist), the sixth best soccer player in Illinois, and a survivor of fatal heart surgery who shouldn’t be alive – I couldn’t find a more diverse community of
In his article “Distilling My Korean American Identity,” he explores the process of self-discovery of identity from his teenage years to his college life, and with the help from his significant other. Being Asians in the United States, Gonzalo and Patrick S. both have had to confront the major issue of identity conflicts in different ways. These were due to the assimilation stress, generational gap and racial discrimination that happened within their family and school lives.
What makes up our identity?This question has been asked for a really long time that some have attempted to answer but often look at the wrong things that make up our identity.Some people have thought that what makes up our identity are the different important times in our life.Though what really makes up our identity are the 7 categories of otherness.The 7 categories of otherness are race, sexual orientation, age, religion, able- bodied, gender and finally socio-economic.
So, if I make the fried Kim-chi with the Kim-chi from a market, it is just not tasty as much as the one that my mom made. Yet, however the taste of it, every time I eat Kim-chi, it reminds me of my mom’s caring for me and the fact that I am Korean. Because when she tried to make me eat Kim-chi, she always used to say like ‘oh, Koreans should eat Kim-chi.’ By that time, however, what she said did not really come across my mind. Since all the people around me were Korean, I did not really know what being Korea means. But now I am in America, and being ‘Korean’ becomes one of the unique characteristics that represent me.
Living Life with a Mixed Identity When I was as young as two years old I had my first memory, It was of me and my sister trying to walk, but our oldest sister would always come over to trample us in her attempt to get to the play kitchen first. Ever since this young age, I have memories that all include the same person, my twin, Heidi. We were inseparable at this young age, being able to have somebody to play with whenever you wanted to, but like any other siblings we would fight. We were always told that it would be “so much” fun and “so awesome” to have a twin, every single time somebody told us this we would always respond by saying that we wished we were seen as two different individuals, rather than just being known as ‘the twins’.
The final social entity with which I identify, that I will be discussing in this paper is my gender, being a female. As I mentioned in the introduction of this paper this is really the only social entity with which I identify, that could lead me to be oppressed. Although in Canada, women’s rights have made huge improvements, there are still inequalities between the two genders, such as the existing wage gap. However, in reference to my own life I have not experienced substantial oppression because of my gender so far. The reason for this could be because living in Canada, women are more or less treated as equals in most social institutions, it could also be because my generation of people whom I spend most time with were not raised with the
I agree with Hwang that children of immigrants often feel lost because they are perceived differently by different groups. In Hwang’s case, she had to balance the American culture and the Korean standards with each other. Hwang is unable to identify with either culture when presented with culturally different scenarios. Her parents and other Koreans see her as American while her peers view her as Korean, which leaves Hwang in a limbo between competing cultural identities. While she had American tendencies of “rhapsodizing over Andrew McCarthy’s blue eyes” or thinking about “a certain upper-classman’s offer of a ride to the Homecoming football game”, she is Korean by blood, and is therefore faced with the pressures of being traditional (43). Being a first generation Indian, I can relate to this. For me, personally, it was hard to communicate with my relatives back in India because of the many cultural barriers, no matter how much my parents tried to instill Indian culture within me. While my family sees me as being detached from my Indian roots, my peers do not really see me as American. Hence, because of all of the confusion, there is strain put on one’s sense of identity when everyone around them sees them as someone