Because i am Asian

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“Being Asian is a blessing “(by Joan Pung)

Because i am Asian..

I can speak more than 4 languages (3 out of which are chinese dialects). In my country it’s a norm to speak at least 2 languages. However, most people in the West  jumped to a conclusion that i couldn’t speak English.They think my name must  be Ching Chang and i speak ching-chong to my mom. I can’t roll my  tongue and my “R” sounded like a “L” . The “L” is perceived as a crooked “A” and there must be a hissed sound at every consonant i make.  I have to speak twice if not thrice to send a message across but too often i get corrections for my grammatical error in a public conversations.To tell you i do understand but they have to speak really slow, seriously slow (as if speaking slowly to a non-English speaking person helps).

Because i am Asian..

My feelings easily get hurt when you are too straight forward. I hate confrontations and being direct is not encouraged in my culture. I will not tell you how i honestly felt and i expect you to guess my thoughts. We define words the opposite way. ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ is not always’ okay’. Being courteous runs in our blood and expressing our ‘wants’  can be seen ‘rude’. We tend to ambiguous and beat around the bushes for something that can be done in minutes. Heated arguments required days if not weeks to resolve it.”Let’s go for a drink” with someone we just disagree don’t work for us. Don’t ask me why. We are made this way. Try to read our underlying meanings and you will find your way there.

Because i am Asian..

I can lie my age. My face looks younger and my clothing seems more colorful. Our hair must be layered or dyed and we are often mistaken as a high school student.  Being an Asian girl, i must have grown up with Hello Kitty or some anime character and Barbie dolls have no place in my room (which as a matter of fact i love toy cars) People think i must be from China or Hong Kong and to defend that i’ve always frustrate my audience. Not all Asians are from China and Hong Kong is not always a part of our genes.

Because i am Asian…

Chow Mien is my food. Sushi is what i love. Mandarin orange is the fruit. Fortune cookie is how i fool my neighbors. Oats and cereals shouldn’t be a part of my breakfast. Bagels and coffee just doesn’t fit my Asian picture.Green tea should be my cuppa tea. Espresso is too Italian to be us and they assume we can’t differentiate between a Macchiato and Affogato. Rice is the answer and my love for Subway’s seems strange! Our conversations revolve around “Have you eaten?” and ” Are you full?”. It passes on from one generation to another and you must have thought we love food. Our ancestors hail from a hard life and having a full stomach is important to ensure a good life. For us, food defines the qualilty of life and how do you view yours?

Because i am Asian….

Family values are important. There is a hierarchy we abide in. Respect  is based on age and position but sometimes gender plays a role. Being a son is a gift to the family and they do play a mini god with special treatment from parents. A son bears the family name and our next generation depends on them.We must show respect to an elderly person by calling them Aunty or Uncle. It goes to same to siblings ranking as eldest sister or brother. We believe in family bonding time but there is very least communication involved over dinners as love is shown by parents giving us food on our plates.

Because i am Asian..

I am expected to be good in studies. Education is the pride of the family. Most of our ancestors never had the chance for a proper education and the next generation has to rise above just being an average student. In most Asian families, getting good grades are not attainable, but it’s compulsory! Comparing and competing with the kids next door are commonly practiced in our culture. Our schedule is usually filled with extra activities from instrumental lessons to drawing and sports. One has to be good in all aspects to make his or her families proud. We take pride in all we do.

Because i am Asian…

Things have evolved. Stereotypically, we have changed from an inward being to a more open culture. Values are being compromised and the younger generations are more Western thinking. We adopt a controversial concepts of being a social inept hard-workers to a more partying and drinking society. We buy more, spend more, eat more (no, i don’t eat insects & dog meat) change more gadgets and enter into a techno-savvy population.

Because i am Asian…

I love being me.

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5 thoughts on “Because i am Asian

  1. Very nice story! i can relate. Thats what exactly what i want others to understand about but since we can`t force people to understand, i guess i should leave them that way… Because im Asian 🙂

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