Taiyo Na's Lovely to Me Interpretation

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March 5, 2013
Assignment #1
Interpreting Culture, Values and Norms in Taiyo Na’s “Lovely to Me” ​Taiyo Na’s “Lovely to Me” video touches on several social questions. A catalogue of Na’s observations of his immigrant mother’s love for him while enduring the hardships of trying to make it in today’s America, at the heart of “Lovely to Me” is his profound appreciation for his mother as she confronts a new society with a differing culture than hers. While Na expresses social conflict, he also identifies a mother’s love and sacrifice for her child. Indeed, the concepts of culture, value and norms can help further understanding of “Lovely to Me” as cultures clash and intermingle. By watching the video with theses social theories in mind, we are able to understand a culture better. Not only do we get a better understanding, we can also compare and relate his views of family values and norms to or own. ​One of the first social concepts Na touches on regards the culture he was raised in. Culture refers to shared knowledge, values, rules of behavior and objects that make up a way of life. He says of his mother, “She struggle everyday so she something like a fighter / With a few hustles on the DL / Couldn’t read well but could feed well.” This speaks to the culture of “immigrant mothers” working multiple jobs to make ends meet. “Overworked and underpaid” were the words he used to describe her struggles. While this phrase can be used to describe many working, single mothers, it especially resonates with immigrant mothers. Unfortunately, since they are not educated in the United States and may not speak the language as well as others, they may have a harder time trying to secure steady employment. While it’s still hard for a person with a GED to get a good paying job, with benefits, a person with less education has very little chance. They often have to go to much greater lengths simply because they may not have been afforded the basics many Americans have. ​The next...
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