In the mighty world of Twitter, there lives a hashtag, “#BeingAsian”. It is an interesting mix of people complaining about the racism they’ve faced, poking fun of Asian stereotypes, and celebrating Asian/Asian American culture. Ultimately, it is about Asians being Asian, living their lives, sharing frustrations and sharing their happy events. Some of the posts are included below.
They point to the extent to which our ethnicity permeates everything we do and go through. The encounters of racism on the train might be few but they wouldn’t happen at all if we were white. When was the last time you went up to a white person and asked them, “are you German?”, then said “Guten Tag!” I should really do that one day and see what happens. Simply making rice for dinner has different connotations because of our Asian-ness.
Being not white in America can be taxing. We are constantly confronted by the presence of or the lack of the stereotypical culture in our day to day activities. We constantly represent the people of our race (I honestly don’t know why, but it’s a thing). The closeness to the culture can be as little or as much as we prescribe it to be, but often that won’t change the perspective others have of us. We get chided for being too Asian or too American, too foreign or too “white-washed”. There seems to be no winning.
One common string among these posts that I am grateful for is the pride for their culture. In many posts, I see people pushing back against stereotypes because they are proud of their heritage and they were frustrated with the way others perceived their cultures. It is a part of who we are, regardless of how we relate to the culture or how close to the motherland our generation falls. An attack on the culture is an attack on our livelihoods. So I will never understand when people say we’re being too sensitive or too political. If you’re one to have good humor when it comes to these things, that is great; but for those of you who get annoyed with the thoughtless remarks, don’t let the naysayers tell you your feelings are baseless.