The Predicament Of Being Too Asian But Not Asian Enough
Start writing a post

The Predicament Of Being Too Asian But Not Asian Enough

The Confusion of the Dynamic Levels of Being Asian

The Predicament Of Being Too Asian But Not Asian Enough

As we transition from baby to adolescence, and adolescence to adulthood, we face different challenges and environments that demand us to change and grow.

No matter where, we find ourselves trying to fit in with our surroundings or alter some part of ourselves to match those we immerse ourselves with.

This change isn't necessarily forced, but we are influenced by the people who surround us and we naturally shift. There will always be situations and environments we find ourselves in that demand us to grow and change.

The Asian American story is one of diverse ranges. Often times, it's easy to homogenize Asian Americans.

Everyone, including Asians, easily fall victim to this mistake as we forget to take into account the diversity of origins and experiences within the Asian identity and culture. Asians judge each other as "too Asian" or "not Asian enough."

But what scale is used to measure this and why do Asians rank themselves and each other on their level of "Asian-ness?"

Living in Asia for a few years before moving to the United States, I've been lucky to be immersed and get a better understanding of the Asian culture. I've also been able to keep that identity a part of me growing up in the US. However, as I grew older, I began to shed, little by little, my Asian identity.

When I was younger, my friends, particularly my Asian friends who were born and raised in the US, would tell me I was "too Asian." I had no idea what they meant as I thought that I acted "normal" and was just going about my day. They pointed out certain habits of mine and certain foods I brought to school for lunch saying, "that's so Asian." Slowly, I began associating this part of me as negative and became self-conscious, constantly trying to suppress certain habits and begging my mom to make me a simple sandwich for lunch instead of waking up early in the morning to cook fried rice.

This shift forced me to drop that part of me that I used to be so comfortable in. Less and less, I received comments of being "so Asian" and confusingly, yet surprisingly, I began to receive comments that I "wasn't Asian enough." I felt angered and lost. I gave up a part of me before to fit in, but after these painful efforts, they still weren't satisfied with me.

Growing up trying to fit in, yet trying to find my individuality, I became angry at myself for being so easily influenced by society, yet I so desperately sought to be accepted and liked. I continue to struggle finding that balance of embracing and being proud of my "Asianness" while also coming to terms of my American identity that I've inevitably found myself taking on.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for having these two very different cultures as part of my identity.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments