10 Things Only Second-Generation Asian-Americans Will Understand
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Politics and Activism

10 Things Only Second-Generation Asian-Americans Will Understand

Don't compliment our English speaking and expect us to like it.

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10 Things Only Second-Generation Asian-Americans Will Understand
KUOW

Asian-Americans— one of the few true immigrant children of the United States in the modern age. With us, comes a history of struggle that our parents endured on the other side of the world just to make sure we would have a bright future here in the United States.

Whether our parents are from South Korea, Japan, China, etc., we are the inheritors of both Eastern and Western cultures. With that, comes with certain characteristics and situations once you’ve settled in the U.S. with one of the best being new friends— and by the time you're 21 or 22— you're probably already half way towards landing your dream job. We are not ashamed because we’re proud of our heritage and all the quirks that come with it.

Here are 10 things that second-generation Asian-Americans understand too well:

1. Your parents hardly speak English at home

They may have come to America, but that never meant they had to assimilate. Their job is to make sure you never forget your heritage and step one is making sure you speak their tongue, which is just as much your language as it is theirs. If anyone makes fun of their accents, they'll have to catch these hands.

2. Some of your devices are in non-English

It’s been drilled into your head since day one of your life that you speak two languages, so sometimes you end up having at least one device in the non-English language. Plus, it can be used for a cheap laugh when someone looks at it and is shocked.

3. Cursing in non-English

Swearing in public is never a good thing. But there’s a small loophole— you can swear in public, and it doesn’t have to be in English.

4. Public family phone calls mean unwanted attention

As said in No.1, your parents not really speaking English means communicating with them is almost entirely in non-English. When you call them, you have to respond in a foreign language as well. Unfortunately, in public this means you sound like you're speaking alien to most people around you.

5. Trolling your friends = No. 1 Hobby

Speaking in your parents' tongue almost always causes confusion to your friends who don't speak it. So more often than not, you say something and tell them the opposite of what you said. Their reaction is all you need to make your day.

6. New skill on a résumé

Regardless of your level, you're bilingual in some form. And there’s no doubt that skill looks good on a resume, so why would you not write it down? Impress those both in social and business life.

7. One person, two cultures

You were born or adopted as an American but you carry the blood, history, and struggle of your non-American parents. Like it or not, we have that responsibility above our heads and our parents won’t let us forget it.

8. “Oh hey, your English is really good!”

It’s never a compliment. We’re just as American as you are, so the fact that you said that means you think we’re foreigners. And it's displeasing, to put it lightly.

9. Who needs subtitles?

NOTE: If you're out of Netflix shows to binge, I recommend you watch Korean dramas, like "Boys Before Flowers" because it's awesome.

There’s a movie/TV show/etc. from your parents’ home country that you decide is fun and want to give a chance. But English subtitles are not required. And when they’re wired into the feature, the only thing they do is annoy you.

10. You see an overseas backpacking trip in your future

There’s little doubt that anyone wants to go on an overseas backpacking trip, but you have one advantage that others don’t; you can go to a country and actually understand and/or speak their language. You and your traveling companions have an advantage, so use it as much as you can.

And no, just because we can speak their language, doesn't mean that country's home for us.

Our home is America, just like you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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