Many Asian Americans deal with the language barrier, me included. This article from The Washington Post accounts one case of the language barrier and how this person set out to solve this problem by learning his parents' native tongue in college. I could relate because I speak cantonese at home only with my parents but English in every other interaction with people. Being born in raised in San Francisco, my parents put me through Chinese school to make sure that the barrier would not completely prevent us from speaking to one another. But I was young and only resented the fact that they hadn't learned English in America. I hated Chinese school and slacked off, but luckily can still speak enough Chinese to get my point across to my parents. But I was still disadvantaged in my every day life. At teacher conferences, I had to translate for my parents, I learned all my English from school, without my parents' help, I couldn't get help with my homework from my parents, and frankly, I was embarrassed that my parents could not speak English. The worst part of it all is that I could not hold a grudge on my parents because they gave up everything and came to America to improve my life, but at the expense of losing strong communication with their children. This is something I'll struggle forever but it makes me who I am. Read this article and you may find some similarities to your own lives.

- Michelle Li

How much someone is "Americanized"  depends on how much he/she is assimilated by American society . Adding on to that, the American society harbors diverse communities each with their own set of values and therefore "Americanization" should be an equal mix of all the cultures (in an equally represented society anyway). Unfortunately, this is not so in our society. Social media has given other racial traditions more influence in America, particularly those of the Caucasian race. I feel that many minorities are not represented in American society and are often subject to stereotypes. In that sense, being "Americanized" mostly pertains to the values and traditions of Caucasians (at least in my opinion). Being a third generation Chinese-American, I've been almost fully immersed in "American" culture. I have very weak cultural ties to my ethnic traditions (I don't know how to speak Chinese) and can relate more to those of the Caucasian race.  This doesn't mean that I don't want to learn more about my roots! I'm very eager to learn more about my ethnic culture and will probably do so when I'm older.  : - D

Jordan Wong

I recently found this article pop up on my facebook feed:

the article is a very unique and in-depth perspective of being not an Asian, nor a Caucasion, but an Asian-American in the US. I could not describe the experience better than Connie Zhou. From being good at math to being a FOB (even if you were born in the US), we Asians experience a special kind of racism and prejudice that is usually overlooked and buried under the more infamous racism towards African-Americans and other races. But, I completely agree with Connie's view of Asian Americans as "the forgotten minority". We are equally subject to prejudices and stereotypes, but that is exactly what shapes who we are. As she ends nicely in her closing lines, "Let this be the moment when you realize you’re not white nor are you solely Asian, you’re Asian-American (and cue cheesy sap music)."

-Judy Wang

Hi everyone!

I stumbled upon this incredibly relatable essay (link above) about the Asian American experience in America that you all should definitely read!!! It connects to the themes of Alex Luu's performance of assimilation and also probably every nonwhite (possibly white too) experience in America.

It is also really interesting because my sociology class has been discussing the social construction of race and Asians being the "model minority" (where a certain minority group of people have shown to reach higher level of success than the average population). But just because Asians reach success equal or even higher than whites, we are still continuously "otherized" by society. 

From my personal experience, being born in America, but raised by the Chinese culture has made me kind of stuck in between two worlds. I fit into the "model minority" But the fact that Asians are labeled as this sometimes ignores the fact that we still have struggles. Because of the way I look, I feel like I constantly have to prove my worth and laugh off asian jokes. Like Connie Zhou said in her essay "You can take it two ways: embrace that you’re not white or try everything in your power to become white.". When I reached that dilemma while growing up, I chose to use everything in by power to assimilate and "become white". My personal journey to acceptance is getting better day by day, but some days, I just wish all the problems tied to my race and how I look would just disappear. Writing about and sharing this essay that articulates my struggles is certainly helping.

Be proud of everything that you are, even when it gets tough!

Michelle Li