Why Do All Asians Hang Out Together?

Why Do All Asians Hang Out Together?

We don't.
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Throughout my life, I have had countless people ask me the question: “Why do all Asians hang out together?” or “Why do Asians only hang out with other Asians?” This has become a common stereotype across high school and college campuses – a stereotype that Asians are exclusive and only choose to hang out with others of their own race. Popular movies and TV shows have not helped this stereotype, like the movie Mean Girls, where a certain scene described the “Cool Asians” and the “Asian Nerds” as different cliques present in a high school cafeteria. The cliques that were depicted in this scene ranged from “sexually-active band geeks” to “varsity jocks” to “unfriendly Black hotties”. The issue here was that every clique that was composed of White people was described by something other than the race of the people, while the only three cliques with people of color were named solely after their race. Why is it that the all-White table of varsity jocks wasn’t called the “White varsity jocks”? How about the table of White girls eating hamburgers? Why weren’t they called the “White girls who ate their feelings”? This Mean Girls scene is, unfortunately, a solid depiction of the classification of minority groups in our country. Minorities in the United States are usually classified by their race before all else, especially on high school and college campuses. A group of Asians sitting at a table in the dining hall is no different than a group of White people sitting at a table, except for the fact that Asians are stereotyped for it. This creates a double standard against Asians and other minorities – a group of Asians is seen as exclusive, while a group of White people seems normal. Next time you want to ask an Asian person why they only hang out with other Asians, maybe you should first ask yourself how diverse your own friend group is.

Even though you have seen how problematic this question is, you still want to know the answer. Why do all Asians hang out together?

First of all, we don’t. I can’t think of any Asian person who only has Asian friends. You may see a group of Asian people sitting together, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have non-Asian friends. Let’s repeat this.

Just because an Asian person has some Asian friends, doesn’t mean all of their friends are Asian.

Also, spending time with people of the same race is not a crime. A lot of times, people of the same race share similar experiences, and we can empathize with the struggles we all encounter as people of color in this country. My Asian friends are the only ones who understand the struggle of having such a small representation in popular media, and how Asian advocacy is never taken seriously in our society. We all share the burden of media-created Asian stereotypes, which have repercussions that the rest of the world is blind to. We also have similar family lives. Almost all Asians share the experience of having a “tiger mom”. If you had an Asian mother, you would understand what kind of a bond this forms between Asians. Asian parents place a lot of emphasis on education, so tiger moms are a force to be reckoned with.

As Asians, we all come from a very rich cultural background, and it feels great to spend time with other people who have the same cultural identity. I love being able to talk about chicken adobo, Tinikling, and jeepneys with other Filipinos, because they are the only other people who will understand that aspect of my life. What’s so wrong with spending time with other people who share the same culture? Not to mention how fun it is to have a shared language with your friends. If I’m in public with one of my Filipino friends, I can say, “Kailangan kong umihi” and no one else will know what I’m saying.

So, yes. I have Asian friends. I have Asian friends for a reason, too. However, I don’t only hang out with other Asians.

Next time you want to ask an Asian person why they only hang out with other Asians, don’t.

Cover Image Credit: zap2it

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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I Won't Forgive The Anti-Semitic Students Of Spain Park, Not Yet

Maybe it isn't time for an apology.

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I am Jewish. It is something I have never been afraid of and something I value as much in life as I do with my family and friends. Throughout my life, though I have witnessed hate of the Jewish people and jokes made about Jewish people.

In high school, I had to listen to jokes about Jews and the gas chambers and was asked because I was Jewish if I could do someone else's math homework.

To say I had to deal with anti-Semitism in the South does not come close to describing what I had to go through. As time went by the jokes stopped and I thought I would not have to deal with instances of prejudice or bigotry but I was wrong. Growing up as one of the only Jewish people in my friend group and in high school it made me consider myself strong and ready for college but in my freshman year I had to go through other jokes about my religion and even in sophomore year had to witness someone I thought was my friend make a joke about my religion because "he thought it was funny."

I let the instances of anti-Semitism serve as times when I could prove people wrong I learned to forgive and forget.

But I had to witness other acts of hate towards Judaism while in college. From swastikas on a fraternity house, a synagogue shooting, the BDS movement and more hate speech, the hate towards Jews have seemed to grow and I do not understand why. I get hurt each time I hear of an instance but it has not allowed me to view my Judaism any differently. However, there was an occurrence that has affected me in a different way.

It happened in my home state and it has not sat well with me.

On Monday a video surfaced of multiple high school students making anti-Semitic and anti-Black comments. The video featured a guy turning around the camera multiple times to show he was laughing and thought it was funny while others made comments about concentration camps, what would happen if Jews ruled the world and asking what the world would be like without the Holocaust. The students were from Spain Park in Birmingham and have gathered quite a reputation online.

To say I am filled with anger, disappointment, and embarrassment is an understatement.

This is my home state and these students are not only disrespecting the Jewish and Black people in the state of Alabama but throughout the US and possibly even in the world. I am hurt by this instance but I am not ready to forgive these students just yet.

After the video was leaked online some of the students sent messages to the person who uploaded the video apologizing. That I took as a mature gesture until I read the apology from the girl in the video. The apology asked if the user could remove the video because it would ruin her life and reputation. It was later found out that the female student is the daughter of the manager of the Toyota dealership in Hoover after the manager posted an apology.

Any remorse I had going for these students was now gone.

They were not sorry. They were sorry that they got caught and were facing consequences. They gave the apology that your parents made you say when you did not want to apologize. They did not care about who they had harmed or what they had said, they cared because they had to face consequences and they know that this mistake would follow them for the rest of their life.

I'm at a loss for words.

I don't know how to feel. I know someone will tell me I am overreacting but how am I supposed to approach this? What they said was wrong and there is no proper way to express frustration for it. I know people get offended by certain things but some things are not meant to be a joke. So I hope what you said was worth it and was fun to say because it will follow you for the rest of your life. Some lessons are best-learned overtime and it looks like you will have a chance to reflect on these events.

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