http://www.8asians.com/2011/03/22/do-as ... americans/
I was reading the Los Angeles Times earlier and came across an article about Gary Lockeâ€™s nomination as ambassador to China and the feelings of the Chinese toward a Chinese American like Locke. It struck a nerve with me and got me thinking: Do Asians â€” in Asia â€” hate Asian Americans?
The article, â€œAmbassador nominee raises strong emotions in China,â€ by Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times states:
But a deep antagonism is evident in a profusion of less-than-diplomatic commentary on the Internet, a venue where Chinese feel free to vent.
â€œA fake foreign devil who cannot even speak Chinese,â€ wrote one anonymous contributor to an Internet forum on public affairs.
â€œI donâ€™t like this guy who has forgotten his ancestors,â€ wrote someone in Dalian on a popular news site, and someone in Sichuan piped in, â€œIf he wanted to be Chinese, he wouldnâ€™t live in America.â€
Some Chinese call the 61-year-old Commerce secretary a â€œtraitorâ€ and resort to ethnic slurs to disparage his being born and raised in the United States.
As a Japanese American, I get this. Iâ€™ve never felt welcome in Japan. I remember going there as a child and hoping theyâ€™d accept me but finding out rather quickly that they did not. The surprise turned out to be the disdain they felt toward me â€“ as though I were somehow less than them. Surprisingly, many of the non-Japanese tourists were actually treated better than me!
Is it a language thing? Is it because Asians think Asian Americans somehow sold out (our people, history, culture)?
In response to the former, even if we are proficient at our ancestorâ€™s language, it could never be on par with those who still live there. Personally, I had a speech impediment as a child and was not allowed to learn Japanese until I learned English! The last time I was in Japan, a person shook her head at me and said that my Japanese was â€œbadâ€ and â€œwhat a shame it was.â€ She never bothered to ask why I couldnâ€™t speak.
In response to the later question, as much as we want or try, we are American. When going back to Japan, it is very clear that I usually share more in common with Caucasians from America than I do with the Japanese living in Japan â€“ other than of course the way we look. I donâ€™t think it is a matter of selling out or losing my culture but just the reality of living in America all my life.
However, what people from Asia donâ€™t see is that many Asians who live in America have created a unique culture that reflects the reality of who they are: part Asian and part American. An easy example of this is eating rice at Thanksgiving or Spam musubi in the Japanese American community.
Maybe what hurts most about this is that a part of me wants acceptance from the people where my ancestors came from, but this could only come when they accept that we are not and cannot be like them. We are different but similar. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It is just the reality of the way things are.
What do you think?
These are comments from Asian Americans with negative experiences in Asia:
I know some Taiwanese guys who are like this. They weren't even born in the US, yet after staying in the States for some time, they have that arrogant attitude back in Asia. It does piss of some locals, and even though I'm an AA as well, I get irritated when they do that.
I heard from a Taiwanese friend that what really gets on their nerves is when some people clearly know Chinese, but pretend they don't or make a fuss about it.
Of course, it's just some people, not everyone like you said.
I can see how this gets annoying (its pretentious and lame), but i think alot of native asians get this shotgun reaction from it that if you have an asian face and are speaking fluent English, you must be stuck up and trying to show off. I am Vietnamese American and when I lived in Hong Kong, i would get this all the time from locals. One girl standing in line next to me overheard my conversation with a friend and tsked at me and then rolled her eyes because we were speaking English.
Believe me, if I were of Chinese heritage and could speak Canto, I would. But i'm not even Chinese and I don't know how to speak Canto, so the assumption that I am and that I'm being a stuck up about my English is very narrow minded (ie operating again under the assumption that if you look Asian, you can't be American) and very annoying.
I'm Vietnamese and I can pretty much say I've felt disdain from every ethnic group. I've been to Viet Nam twice as an adult; for the most part, the large majority of Vietnamese people I've had interactions with act surprised that I was born in Viet Nam (apparently I look Chinese to many Vietnamese people...a lot of Chinese people think I look Chinese, too), seem annoyed that I don't know the language, and then appear to lose all interest in having any sort of interaction with me when I tell them (through a translator) that I'm adopted from Viet Nam.
A fair amount of Chinese people I've interacted with start conversing with me in Mandarin and get a curious look on their face when I tell them I'm Vietnamese. And along those lines, I don't think Asian-Americans know what to do about me because I don't fit in with their group, either.
Because the icing on the cake is that I was adopted from Viet Nam, was raised in Pennsylvania-Dutch country on meat and potatoes, my parents and older sister are white, and my younger brother and sister are black. Add to all of this I've got a German-Jewish last name and a Christian first and middle name, it's even confusing to white folks. At the end of the day, if you're OK with who you are, then everyone else's opinions of you can take a long walk off a short pier.
None of them has ever walked in your shoes, especially someone who's been raised in another country and another culture. I may not be Asian enough to fit in with Asians in America, but I know enough that Asians raised in America have quite different upbringings than Asians raised in their native countries.
Now, I contrast Asian Americans that had negative experiences in Asia with those that had positive experiences over there:
My experience as Japanese Brazilian was completly different from yours or other Japanese Brazilians who works as blue collars in the local industry (they always suffer some kind of prejudice). I felt welcome in every place I was there, and sometimes, it even helped me out. Of course, the fact I was enrolled Japanese top university is something that worked in my favor (ok, they always expected me to play or watch soccer, when I prefer martial arts and rugby).
I didn't felt any expection about my heritage. A anecdote: I spent a week in Kanazawa prefecture, for a homestay program. At meals, my host family always tried to introduce me a 'tipical Japanese food', i.e. natto or mentaiko (please, google'em) when in fact I had tried most part of them before I arrived in Japan. But things got funny (for me) when I prepared some tenpura, for their surprise. And they liked so much that they said it was the best they ever had.
Of course people had high expectation about my proficency. Specially when they know my father is Japanese (a Edokko) or listen me speak in Shitamachi (google it again) dialect.
I've never experienced any animosity whenever I went to Japan for being American. The treatment I got was completely opposite: the summers I went to school there, my classmates treated me like a celebrity because I was from the far away land of Hollywood and blond people, and our friends/family have always been accommodating with the language barrier. In fact, they always used me as an excuse to practice their English.
On the other hand, nowadays I'm less fluent and therefore, more shy so I get treated like an idiot because I look so Japanese and can speak okay but can't respond properly when people expect me to read something. It's really embarrassing in restaurants when they hand me a menu and I ask my mom (in Japanese) for help.
Thing is, I'm 1.5 generation -- my mom is Japanese from Japan, and my dad is a yonsei Japanese-American. I was born in Japan and moved to the US at a young age and was raised primarily by my mom so I still speak some Japanese. Probably partially because of that, my extended family in Japan never treated me like I was weird or out of place. Some of it has to do with the fact that they're cool people tho.
I also may dress a bit differently and be a bit fatter than most of the ladies there, but I don't think I've noticed anyone acting rude to me, even with my slightly broken Japanese. Once I explain that I'm Nikkei, people usually become friendlier and more curious, actually So in my experience, I haven't noticed this.
I thought this one comment was spot on in regards to White and Asian Americans experiences in returning back to their ancestral homelands:
The same counts for White Americans, when returning back to Europe (Incl. West-Asia & North-Africa) they are looked upon as foreigners, even if both their parents came from Germany in Germany they would be Americans and not Germans (Prussians, Hessians, Bavarians, Oldenburges, Etc.).
Interestingly enough, Winston Wu 's name came up in one of the comments section:
The first thing that pops into my mind why Asians hate AA is Winston Wu. I see many occasions AAs go to Asia and act like they are the king and they're special and above the average citizen. Some act like they should have white privilege in Asia with typical annoying American attitude and constant saying stuff like, "In America, we do it this way," "America this, America that" and tried to make sure everyone and strangers around them know they are from America.
And sometime the sell out Asians will give them special treatment like they give to YT, and locals will resent that. For example, Winston Wu tries to use his American status to exploit women in Taiwan and claims he is a banana. Yes, he is a banana thats why everyone hates him. This is just generalizing some of them and is case by case.
And this was one of the responses to Winston Wu's name being mentioned:
I had to google Winston Wu as I had no idea who he is. Anyway, after doing my research I've come to the conclusion that Winston is like any western male who is not able to attract a western females, he has to go places where he has some sort of social advantage. He at least doesn't hide the fact that he is somewhat of a loser with women here in North America.