Being Asian American Essay

Being Asian American Essay

Length: 1594 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.

I went through a long period of time not knowing who I was. I strove to emulate my cousins in Manila and Hong Kong, the true Asian scions of my family. I would drape myself with the accoutrements of an Asian life-except I had no idea what being Asian meant to someone of my generation. I took my cue from popular culture and what I imagined my cousins overseas were like, which meant I did math homework quietly and assiduously, enrolled in Chinese school to learn the lilting cadences of my father's tongue, went to Mass on high holy days with my mother. I set out a glass of water for wandering spirits with my great-aunt, a lingering vestige of a native Filipino belief system that is difficult to eradicate even in the face of Catholicism's omnipresence in the Philippine islands. Anne Lamott would have shaken her head at me, at the savage, uncompassionate way I ripped myself apart. "You don't drop-kick a puppy into the neighbor's yard," she says in Bird by Bird (99), waxing philosophical about the way a writer should not look at the world, but indeed...


... middle of paper ...


...emotional and approachable than they. They listen to J-Pop and MTV-Asia, while I cock my ear for John Coltrane and the Stereophonics. They speak Chinese and Tagalog and English, while I speak Spanish and English and a little French. They worry about continuing the family firm, while I go to poetry slams. They celebrate José Rizal Day, while I wave a multi-hued American flag on the Fourth of July.

Does that make me any less Asian, though? My grandmother and her umbrella certainly pose an eloquent argument to the contrary.

Ako ang bagay na ito at ang kabuuan ng lahat.

I am the thing and the whole of the thing.


Works Cited

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird. New York: Random House, 1995.

Orwell, George. "Shooting an Elephant." Encounters: Essays for Exploration and Inquiry. 2nd ed. Ed. Pat C. Hoy II and Robert DiYanni. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. 458-463.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Being Asian American Essay

- 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....   [tags: Asia Asian Culture Cultural Essays]

Powerful Essays
1594 words (4.6 pages)

Essay Personal Narrative: Being Asian American

- I am a girl with two heads. At home, I wear my Chinese head, in school I wear my English head. Being an Asian, or Chinese, as it is commonly referred to, my culture plays a key role in the development of who I am and what I do, my personal identity. An identity is the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. Parents are often one of the key factors of this culturally developed personal identity. “Fortunately, children do not need “perfect” parents. They do need mothers and fathers who will think on their feet and who will be thoughtful about what they have done....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
524 words (1.5 pages)

Mental Health of the Asian-American Elderly Essay

- Health Disparity Topic Selection and Analysis: Mental Health of the Asian-American Elderly Mental Health of the Asian-American Elderly Asian-Americans constitute an important racial/ethnic minority in the US. A few facts that have been given by the US Census Bureau include: • In 2011, the population of Asians with more than one race was estimated at 18.2 million. • The referred population includes about 50 subgroups with reference to origins, diversity in culture, ethnicity, religious traditions, English proficiency, and geographical and immigration history • The Asian population has been estimated to about 40.6 million by 2050....   [tags: well-being, immigrants]

Powerful Essays
1941 words (5.5 pages)

Asian Americans : Asian American Population Essays

- Asian Americans have been more active and involved in politics over the past decade. Furthermore, Asian Americans increasingly became more visible in politics extending beyond the city limits. While in many major cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City remain packed and serve as a gateway for Asian Americans immigrants. A majority of the United States Asian American population has now moved into the Suburbs. This serves as a part of reaching the American “Dream”. The dream is to own a house in the suburbs with a pool and picket fence....   [tags: Asian American, United States, California]

Powerful Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Native American And Asian American

- “Where are you from?” “America” “No, where are you actually from?” These are the two questions that I get asked regularly by non-Asians. I always reply “Well I was born and raised in America but my family comes from Hong Kong.” I grew up constantly being told to take pride in being Chinese, however, I was also consistently told by my family to be proud that I even have the opportunity to grow up in America. There was never a definite answer as to what I was, so I learned to accept both. I am Asian American....   [tags: Asian American, White American, United States]

Powerful Essays
999 words (2.9 pages)

Cultural Values And Stereotypes Of Asian American Students Essay

- The source of this discourse can be attributed to global biases and stereotypes of Asian American students. Asian American students are stereotyped for being model students when it comes to education. Most of this academic achievement has been attributed to Asian cultural values that promote educational endeavors. Culture is a major explanation for achievement differences. The article,” Asian-American educational achievements: A phenomenon in search of an explanation” states, “demands and expectations for achievement and upward mobility, induction of guilt about parental sacrifice and the need to fulfill obligations” (Sue, S., & Okazaki, S., 2009), implying that those are key contributors to...   [tags: Asian American, Stereotype, White American]

Powerful Essays
1376 words (3.9 pages)

Asian American And Asian Americans Essay

- Since the first influx of Asian immigrants to the United States, Asian Americans were never treated as an integral part of the American population. Accounting for five percent of the US demographic, often times, they are still portrayed by provincial people as outsiders who do not belong in society. Over the years, this negative mentality has transformed into the way Asian Americans are viewed in media. Though there are many attempts of reversing the trend such as diversifying the cast members, stereotypical personalities such as “the human calculator” or “undesirable partner” are still utilized for writers to infuse racial slurs into comedy skits....   [tags: Asian American, White American, Stereotype]

Powerful Essays
1316 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Asian Americans : An Asian American

- As an Asian American, I have several points to discuss in terms of stereotypes. Through a variety of media, Asian Americans are portrayed by socially constructed stereotypes that are either positive or negative to our community. By explaining the definition of a stereotype and listing three specific ones identified, these points reflect our cultural values. These stereotypes include the concept of model minority, the insinuation that Asians are highly skilled at mathematics, and assumptions of our food ways....   [tags: Asian American, United States, White American]

Powerful Essays
1453 words (4.2 pages)

Developing Models Of Counseling For Asian Americans Essay

- In developing models of counseling specifically for Asian American clients several factors need to be considered and integrated into the therapeutic process to be culturally sensitive, appropriate, and therapeutically effective. Problems inevitably arise when counselors trained in Euro-American psychotherapy fail to consider and address the cultural implications and dynamics of Asian Americans. When developing models for counseling with this population “it is important to consider the cultural lens from which Asian Americans view themselves and the world (Pedersen, Draguns, Lonner & Trimble, 2008).” Failing to perform perspective-taking in such a manner results in a lack of understanding for...   [tags: Asian American, United States, White American]

Powerful Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

The Harmful Myth Of Asian Superiority Essay

- Asian Americans are commonly seen by many as superior to other minorities, but this is not the case. They are surprisingly at a small disadvantage compared to other races. Ronald Takaki argued in his article “The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority” that Asians are not a model race that should be celebrated and compared to other minorities. He mentioned when other minorities are compared to Asian Americans, it can cause other races, such as African Americans, to feel resentment towards them. Ronald Takaki states that Asian Americans are just like everyone else, but many people only see them as being aloof, hardworking, successful entrepreneurs....   [tags: Asian American, United States, White American]

Powerful Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)