One submission we at SAPL particularly agreed upon this week was suggested by Kat, who says that Asians like: “second-hand things. Or third/fourth-hand sometimes. I’ve grown up wearing hand-me downs from unknown family friends and relatives. And after 7 years, I try to donate them since I haven’t touched them in so long, and my mom tries to convince me to keep them or she keeps some of it herself for unknown reasons. -_-” it’s like she’ll be wearing it.”
Growing up in a typical Asian household, I too have experienced this second-hand phenomena. My father always went searching for clothing and shoes at thrift stores (as long as it looks new, right?). Through the years, I’ve also picked up on this nose for gold and have developed a keen sense for finding treasure in a piles upon piles of other peoples’ trash (In fact, the executive chair I’m currently typing on was someone else’s garbage at one point). It’s not fair to discount hand-me-downs because hey, somewhere out there; somebody would die to be in your shoes (literally).
1st Generation Asians are especially given the “hand-me-down” treatment. Let’s find out why…
You’re Asian. You’ve just arrived in a foreign land where an article of clothing costs as much as your previous whole week (or month’s) wages. That’s ridiculous, right? Factor in the fact that you have mouths to feed, a car to buy, children to discipline, bills to pay… *sighs* and a flurry of other things you never had to worry about before.
You would want to try to find as many Hand-Me-Downs as humanly possible. I can’t say that this is the same for all you, but there’s one thing that most asians parents would rather not worry about at this point: buying expensive clothes they know their children will grow out of in a few years (or months). It’s just not practical.
Hand-Me-Downs provide an effective way to make your children look snazzy at a cost anybody would like. There are some downfalls, though. Every asian person you know (yes, that includes yourself) has probably come into contact with the “why didn’t you get rid of these” hand-me-downs. These include socks, shirts, hats, sweaters, and sometimes.. even underwear *gasp.* These are the times that you would accidentally lose them (or keep them if you roll that way).
If every one of these reasons fails, just remember that asians are sentimental people too. My mom always gets teary-eyed when she sees an old shirt or picture of mine lying around the house. These are reminders of a more innocent time– a time where we didn’t talk back.. when we’d just smile at the most mundane things (sometimes nothing). This is when our parents could’ve fed us anything and we would’ve eaten it without complaining about our diet regimes. This is a time where.. Ok, let’s stop going down memory lane. You get the point.
So the next time you see Hand-Me-Downs, think about the people that have handed them down to you. They know what you must be going through and are only lending a hand, not belittling you. When Asians see their hand-me-downs on other people, they know they’ve made a difference. When they see people in the same shoes that they were once in (pun intended), they know they’re helping people who are in the same shoes they were once in (pun not intended).
That, my friends, is why Asians like #125 Hand-Me-Downs.
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