Thank you so much for participating in the first Linguify on Father’s Day. There will be more every week from here on, so get ready to learn all your favorite phrases! With that said, this week’s Featured Submission addresses the demographical divide between East and West Coast Asian-Americans.
A couple of years ago back in high school, I attended a diversity conference NAIS/SDLC (National Association of Independent Schools/Student Diversity Leadership Conference) in Miami. The purpose of the 3-4 day conference was to reinforce our racial identities through participating in “privilege” activities and brainstorming ways on how to improve diversity at our schools.
4 of us represented our upper-class white school- but by some strange stroke of chance, we came to evenly distribute each race (1 black, 1 Latina, 1 white, and me). We were divided into different groups- first randomly, and the second racially.
Of course, I had no crisis figuring out where to go. In our Asian caucus, we divvied up charts taped throughout the room for us freely to scribble on stereotypes associated with the names: such as “Asian dating”, “Asian parents”, and one that stood out to me: “East Coast vs. West Coast Asian-Americans”.
As I was baffled, I skipped that poster. At the end when all permanent markers dried out fromour verbal rants, I saw that the majority of the comments described East Coast Asians as “ghetto”, poor, who “don’t spend our parents’ money” and West Coast Asians as materialistic and rich, and “more Americanized”. Since I was born a NYC’er (which I guess automatically makes me a hardcore East Coast Asian-American), I replayed visually the few times I visited Los Angeles (the other half of my family lives there) and San Francisco. I remembered noticing that many Asian girls on the street did carry Gucci and Prada purses, and the boys were mostly nicely dressed with gelled hair.
Is there really a sub-culture I’m not aware of? If there is, is it due to oh, maybe the siren-inducing obsession with celebrity in plastic Hollywood? I know these are stereotypes, but all stem from some truth. I mean, I can safely assume that there are more Japanese in Los Angeles than New York. Right? What do you think?
Thanks for the wonderful submission, Asiacana!
Last 5 posts by Peter
- #144 Donnie Yen (Ip Man 3 DVD Release) - April 27th, 2016
- #143 Managing Restaurants (ft. Professor Chen) - July 20th, 2015
- #142 "Lindorsements" (Being Linteresting) - October 2nd, 2014
- #141 - The Colbert Report / Conan O'Brien Show - January 23rd, 2014
- #140 Linsanity (The Movie) - January 2nd, 2014