I am surprised by new findings almost every single day. I was surprised at how Americans actually work as hard as other ethnicities to achieve something they want. Also, how was I supposed to know I would get exiled within the first week of college? Because I spent two years in the U. S. When I was little, I may pronounce English as if I was born in the U. S. , making some people to think that I am an Asian American. Every time people ask me whether I was born In the U. S. Or not, I wonder what It would be Like If I really were an Aslant American. Applying for U. S. Thespian has been In my thoughts for some time, especially since a lot of my personal cultural values and ideologies have been shaped by the education I received in the U. S. My cultural identity also grew amongst my American friends and teachers, and it now differs strikingly from that of my parents and friends back in South Korea, my home country. This proximity to becoming an Asian American must be what makes It easier for me to bond with Asian Americans on campus. I recently Joined an Asian-interest sorority, comprised mainly of members of Asian-American heritage.
Although Asian on the outside, speaking their Asian language, have a taste for Asian food, and many else, they are basically Americans who had spent most of their lives in the U. S. Or even a second- or a third-generation Asian American. I interviewed one of the members in order to learn about Asian- American history on a more personal level. Amy C Away, one of the members in my sorority, graciously agreed to be Interviewed by me. Her western facial features, such as a small face and big eyes, and her English free of accents deceived me to view her as a hap between an Asian and a Caucasian.
However, both of her parents are Cantonese, and she was born in California on November 23, 1991. Because of her fluent English and absence of an Asian accent, which is usually very obvious in first- generation Asian Americans and slightly present in second-generation ones, I assumed that she would be a third- or fourth-generation Asian-American. However, her parents were first-generation Immigrants who came to America In 1990. I asked her to trace back the history of her parents, way before they came to the U. S. Her parents’ home town was Shannon, Guanos in Southern China.
She told me that although exact date is unclear, she knew that her parents fled from China to Cambodia, a country in the Indochina region close to Shannon when Mao declared China to be “People’s Republic of China” “under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party” (Attack 414). It is known that a lot of anti-communists fled after communist Party AT c galena control AT Canaan Trot AY, so I Interred Trot what Amy told me that her parents’ families must have been supporters of Committing, the opposing party of COP, and fled to another country sometime after 1949.
One could imagine how bad the living conditions were for anti-communists in mainland China when it was already disastrous for those in the U. S. As Attack mentions in his book, “the conflict in China was violently extended to Chinese America” (414). There were incidents in which the pro-Communist and anti- Communist parties interacted and showed their opposition for each other physically, disturbing one another’s celebrations and events (414-415). The difference between mainland China and Chinese America, however, was that while COP triumphed in mainland China, the anti-communists won the game in the U. S.
This difference probably would be due to how the main population of the U. S. , the non-Asian- Americans, held anti-communist opinions and ideologies. The contrasting viewpoint between the majority of the population and the minority did not help the minority groups, and the major population could win over the minorities legally. The “Mascaras Internal Security Act” (415) and the “Confession Program” (416) are some examples of the lawful enforcements of anti-communism. After taking refuge in Cambodia for some time, her parents and her father’s five sisters and four brothers had to flee once again to the U.
S. In 1990. When assumed that her family lived in Cambodia from sometime after 1949 to 1990, her family would have experienced the many political changes with other Cambodia. During the lectures in Introduction to Asian-American History class, Professor Gamma taught about the second wave of refugees fleeing from 1978 to 1994. The second wave consisted of 40% Cambodia; this sudden exodus of Cambodia was due to the gaining control of Cambodia by Khmer Rouge, a group led by POI Pot, who followed a more extreme form of communism than that of COP of PRE (Gamma).
He tried to purge materialistic, western influence by executing people who have been engaged in capitalistic, American behaviors or acts. A lot of people left the country to avoid his persecution. According to this situation, it makes sense for Amoy’s parents’ families to flee once again from Cambodia to the U. S. , since they were anti-communists and were trying to avoid POI Pot’s extremist behaviors. Although I would have like to learn more about her parents’ life right after they arrived to the U. S. Amy preferred to not comment on what occupation they held before and after they got to America. She did explain, though, about disadvantages they had as refugees newly arriving to the U. S. She told me that we’re financially disadvantaged,” and how her parents “have trouble adjusting to the English customs/language” and experience “some prejudice because they’re Asian” (Away). Another reason I was genuinely surprised by how Amy was only a second-generation Asian American was that she does not seem to behave or act like a typical Asian American I pictured in my mind.
I thought of Asian Americans as living in clusters with fellow Asian Americans and creating their own “cliques,” usually divided up by countries. However, Amy seemed Asian only on the outside and very “white” on the inside. When I asked her if she had deliberately behaved or acted in a particular way to not seem “Asian,” she confessed that she would do such things as “not speaking Chinese in public,” “reading a lot of English books,” and “not hanging out with Asians as much” (Away).
She also explained about the cultural differences Detente near Ana near parents Although teeny get along most AT ten time, voles are raised when issues such as dating or going out late come up. From the facts that Amy puts a lot of effort on schoolwork and that she receives full scholarship, I concluded that she must seem like a “model Asian” to most non-Asian Americans. She was indeed aware of this phenomenon, usually called the Model Minority Myth. The Myth was created by the exaggerated presentation of Asian-American immigrants’ successes in the U. S. Especially by a couple of articles in renowned magazines such as New York Times and Washington Post (Gamma). Although it may seem at first that the Myth values Asian Americans’ work ethic and perseverance, it actually provided Asian Americans with disadvantages such as Anti-Asian sentiment especially among college students and limited major options Asian Americans could venture. Asian Americans were targets to non-Asian students who felt that they have less opportunity to prosper because they have been outshines by Asian-American students (Attack 479).
In addition, Asian Americans were offered the majors focused on mathematical or scientific fields instead of those in social sciences or humanities, drastically affecting social or literary works that could have developed (477). However, Amy told me that although she knew about this view of other non-Asians on Asian Americans, she was never pressured to work hard to live up to others’ expectations. Instead, she knew that she had to work hard in order for her to succeed in life and to “make mommy happy’ (Away).
Concluding from the personal interview I had with Amy, I felt that I could picture vividly the historical events as well as becoming closer to her. I could not make the historical connections with the historical facts to relevant family history, since I am Just an international student. How dangerous and scared her parents must have been when fleeing from China to Cambodia and then from Cambodia to the U. S.! And I cannot even imagine how difficult the identity struggles
Amy must have had to go through as she grew up, trying to decide whether to live as her heritage or to create a new identity as an American. Attack points out an important piece of information towards the end of his book: he explains how the lack of Asian-American history in the American education system adds to the anti-Asian sentiment initially created by the Model Minority Myth. I indeed agree with this opinion, and I vouch for the type of learning that involves personal interviews and intensive research on part of the students who might previously have been ignorant o Asian-American history.