Okay. First of all, it's great that you like Korean/Japanese/Chinese/Any Other Asian culture. Really, I appreciate it, this just shows that how small the world is getting. This just shows how multicultural people can become. This just shows that culture is something that is meant to be shared, not kept for only one group of people.
But I need you to listen.
My culture, or any other culture for that matter, is not something you should be fangirling over at every given moment. Okay? I don't usually see people doing this to my culture, Vietnamese culture, but I see this happening with Japanese and Korean cultures a lot. A lot of the time, those people are the ones who incorporate random Japanese or Korean words into their everyday vocabulary. These are the people who usually avidly watch anime or K-Pop or K-Dramas. These are the people who desperately want to be Korean/Japanese. We call those individuals weebos or koreaboos. That's not a label you want to have.
I can't tell you the number of Asian Americans (specifically Korean-Americans) who have told me how uncomfortable it gets for them when people obsess over their culture. And honestly, even though it is not necessarily my culture that gets obsessed over, I get uncomfortable for those individuals.
Because it's one thing to appreciate another culture. It's another thing to fangirl and obsess over another culture. That culture may be completely magical and new to say a non-Asian person, but it's still someone else's culture. That culture is someone else's everyday life- they were born into that culture, it's nothing new to them. So for they exoticize Asian cultures that way is not only uncomfortable, but also an insult. Language is a very important part of every culture so when people try to incorporate parts of Japanese and Korean language into their English, that's rude. They're butchering the language. They're not even trying to fully understand the culture they claim to love so much.
Speaking of which, that's another part that gets uncomfortable. When people equate the entirety of Japanese/Korean culture to one aspect, like anime or K-Pop for example. Yes, K-Pop, for example is a part of South Korean culture, but it doesn't make up the entirety of South Korean culture. That's so much more to South Korean culture like the food or the history or the clothing. And besides, if people just equate South Korean culture to just K-Pop then it makes the entirety of South Korea and its population seem kind of…fake, you know?
But on that note, all I'm asking that if you love an Asian culture, please, please, PLEASE treat it the way you would treat say, your own culture. Treat it with the same respect you would for say Italian culture. Because when people fetishize and exoticize Asian cultures, we Asian-Americans get the brunt of the effects- we get considered weird and alien. And worst of all, people then fail to see the different variations we and our cultures come in.
And if you really want an example of that, talk to the guy who kept talking to me about Japanese tatami mats even after I told him I wasn't Japanese.
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