Finding Asian America
Asian American is the term that referring to people who live in America with the origin of coming from Asia. The term can be easily defined in such a way that I can pull it straight out from the English dictionary or online Wikipedia. But is there all to it? I guess there should be more than just some dry definitions that the dictionary gave me. The question “What does it mean to be Asian American?” is more of an interesting one to me, particularly after watching the film “My America, Honk If You Love Buddha” produced by Renee Tajima-Pena. The film deals with political identity and in that it is a conscious search for Asian American. With Asian as my background, I always want to know more about what so called Asian American nowadays. I believe that Asian Americans nowadays are no longer invisible force in American society. In order to explain it, we have to go back and look at the history of racism towards Asian immigrants and how they contribute to the change in the new Asian American identity, and also the interaction between multiculculture and community that define the new Asian American generation, and see how some people still fit into certain stereotype and some do not.
The film “My America, Honk If You Love Buddha” talks about the history of our struggles for civil rights over the past century. Before 1960s, Asian Americans were really having trouble living in America. White people or I can say White society at that time considered us as foreigner or un-American due to certain physical characteristics such as “skin color, eye color and its shape, shape of the nose, color or texture of the hair” (Lee, 1999, p.2). They regard all Asians are the same despite the fact that we come from many different countries that make up Asia continent. For example, Pang Ku, a Laos seamstress that was introduced in “My America” say: “They thought about Hmong people, Cambodian people, Chinese people, Korean, Vietnamese…We are the same people and...
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