My Japanese Self

1711 Words7 Pages
Being born in the Philippines and being raised between my birth country and Japan, I was taught completely different languages than that I speak today. From the beginning of my life, I was embedded with the languages of Japanese, Tagalog, and some Chinese. Not only did I learnt and understood these languages, I was also influenced with the Asian lifestyle. I had to show respect to my elders, always be with my family, and incorporated religion and cultural traditions into my everyday life. Then, with a sudden whisk, I was brought to America at the age of five years old with my mother. My mother wanted to live that "American dream" that she has heard. So with her "imperfect English" and me with no knowledge of English, we first moved to Oregon. There I attended my first English school. I was shocked with the culture differences that they practiced in America. I realized that the families are broken apart, the Asian Americans appear to have never practiced their cultural traditions and language, and some children do not pay their respects to their elders. I see how American culture collides with what I was taught; I progressively adapted this culture change. I gradually adjusted to my environment in Oregon, and then my mother decided to move to California, then to Hawaii. Moving to this new country and jumping around the different states, learning a new language and culture was imperative. Taking in English and the American ways slowly over took me; thus caused me to lose myself I shin itagaki Page 1 4/24/2006 had not realized it in the beginning, but by being entranced with the television shows, the food, and the American lifestyle, these factors slowly made me forget "me," the self that I identified with when I was younger. Learning English took over me; the fact that I was held back gave more of a reason for my mom to speak to me in English, instead of my native languages. As each day went by, I easily forgot who I was. The emptiness that dwindled inside grew bigger and I could not stop it. I looked at the people who have grown up in America, a place that gives people freedom and independence, and I am green with jealousy. I was jealous at the fact that they are able to communicate easily with the person next to them.
Open Document