Diane Farr attends a “So What Are You, Anyway?” conference at Harvard’s Half Asian People’s Association (HAPA) and talks about what it means to marry into an Asian family, adjust to cultural differences, and raise half-Asian children. Very interesting.
I think in terms of adjusting to cultural differences, my dad did not do so well. He pretty much approached the Asian side of my family the way he did Caucasian people, but the customs were very different. Even little things, like not taking off his shoes when he entered my grandparents’ house, were a bit odd to the rest of us. Not that we cared (my Asian family is pretty Westernized and chill as it is). But, for example, my aunt married a white guy as well who ended up assimilating pretty well into our family, picked up a bit of Chinese for fun, eats lots of rice with us, and generally seems to enjoy his wife’s culture, and vice versa.
I certainly do. Even though many Asian people immigrated to the United States years ago, I still am vaguely surprised whenever I speak to an older (middle-aged and up) Asian-American person who speaks without an accent. I wonder why this is; maybe growing up with first-generation immigrants, it’s hard to imagine an Asian-American family that has been well-established in this country for multiple generations.
Quote— “So, why did I dedicate an entire blog entry to the Hapa Project? It’s simple, I’m what you call ‘Hapa.’ To answer the original question (‘What are you?’), I see myself as an American grown up in a bi-racial culture steming from a Japanese father and a German mother. I’m often times referenced as the Axis powers of WWII, and I get the dreaded ‘Asian Glow’ when I drink.”
“Asian Glow”. What a pain. The only remnants of my own half-Asian, half-German culture. I can really sympathize with this person for a multitude of reasons.