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Thread: You're American

  1. #11
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Rave View Post
    Clarification: When I say first generation, I mean the first generation to be born in the U.S. (not the immigrants to the U.S.)

    Link: Facing a cultural divide in my mixed marriage

    I recently came upon a post about a Mexican-American having a cultural divide between his Mexican part and his American part. In one hand, he is American. On another hand, he is Mexican.

    It is very common for first generation born Americans to have this cultural divide. I feel too young to be considered a first generation (even though I am a first generation) because my attitudes aren't exactly like them, but I feel too old to be considered a second generation born American (that generation seems to eat McDs like every single week.) I am the only one in my family where my parents would refer me to my English name. I still have lingering attitudes, though they aren't as heavy as my next sibling who would be considered the older part of the first generation.

    On one hand, I am told I don't act Asian enough. On another hand, I am told that I am Asian or "Asian-American." Yes, I still eat Asian food, but I also like eating "American" food. I'm told that I am "Americanized" of some sort as if it was something bad. I can communicate to my family and relatives in another language, but only limited amounts compared to my sibling.

    I, at times, feel like I am in a tug-o-war between what it means to be Asian and what it means to be American. Sometimes, all I can think about is that I live in America, not your country of origin. But at times, I am treated as if I am not particularly American.

    Anyone else feel this way? Are there particular ways to quell this?
    Have you tried being yourself? Or can you not go on without a group identity?
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  2. #12
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    On the other hand, I know someone else with mixed Japanese heritage whose family has been here for several generations who actually speaks a little Japanese and seems to feel a little more connected to his family's culture.
    Yes, I still take part in some culture and traditions that come from being Asian. In fact, I am (or was) the one who burns incense for my ancestors on a daily basis as it was almost like my sole responsibility to do so. Of all else, I am like the gatekeeper of my family.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    i don't know if it's a need as much as it's a problem of what others see as well. it's hard to feel like you belong somewhere when people are constantly treating you like an outsider, or a newcomer.

    i feel this way about the region i live in, rave. i was born here and my parents elsewhere. i am not really from where they are from, but i am not really culturally from here, either, because i grew up with my parents' native culture. it's frustrating, i know. sometimes i don't feel accepted in either place... like i am always a foreigner.

    i don't know if there's really a way of overcoming it, exactly, though i've grown a little more comfortable with it... i like that i can be "from" both places. i like that i have that deep knowledge of both cultures. i also find that i have to tell people to shove it sometimes... ultimately it doesn't really matter if we have a single identifying culture. we can have two. people who can't handle the idea of that need to face the fact that the world is more and more united, and we don't have to have a single solid cultural identity to be happy, healthy people, and we deserve to be treated as full members of the community.
    Yeah, that is how I feel like, an outsider.

    It is hard having to hear that I am not American for still practicing the cultures that my parents brought here. Sometimes I hear something along the lines of "This is America, stop practicing those stuff here." or "You eat those type of food? Ewwwwwww."

    It is just as hard having to hear that I am not "Asian" enough because I don't speak my parent's language fluently nor eat everything that they eat. It sometimes become "Ohhhh, so now you want to be one of those Americanized people that can't handle these type of food?"

    At the end of both scenarios, I ask myself, why can't I be both without being shoved by both sides?

  3. #13
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Have you tried being yourself? Or can you not go on without a group identity?
    Ohhhh, I have my own identity, you can count on that. Doesn't make anything less harder.

  4. #14
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Rave View Post
    Ohhhh, I have my own identity, you can count on that. Doesn't make anything less harder.
    I think it does.

    I came to the US when I was 12. The culture thing never bothered me. The only problem was the language barrier, but that's long gone now.

    But its probably an MBTI-type difference too.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  5. #15
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I think it does.

    I came to the US when I was 12. The culture thing never bothered me. The only problem was the language barrier, but that's long gone now.
    Like I said, my identity is both. But with people I interact with, this certainly ain't the whole case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    But its probably an MBTI-type difference too.
    Or an enneagram difference.

  6. #16
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    It's not like national pride is something you can think yourself into. If you don't feel fully "american" like a person whose lineage goes back to the english settlers, then you don't. There's plenty of second-generation albanians and croatians that live in Italy and still fully consider themselves albanians or croatians, can't blame them. Their culture of origin is different, thus the divide is clear.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #17
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Forget what people are telling you. Who are YOU? Once you've figured this out, people can say you're blue cheese where your response will be "up yours" with a smirk!

  8. #18
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    It would be fantastic if all of the NTJs stopped telling this poor man he doesn't know who he is, and instead considered the possibility that he cares deeply about cultural values and where he fits into things socially.

  9. #19
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    *looks in mirror*

    Hmmm...racially asian, living in a western country. Hmmm....

  10. #20
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Rave View Post

    I, at times, feel like I am in a tug-o-war between what it means to be Asian and what it means to be American. Sometimes, all I can think about is that I live in America, not your country of origin. But at times, I am treated as if I am not particularly American.

    Anyone else feel this way? Are there particular ways to quell this?
    i have two passports. british and thai.
    and my mother is japanese.

    i don't identify with one culture at all.
    and have always considered myself a
    third-culture kid.

    A third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) or trans-culture kid is "someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture."[1] TCKs tend to have more in common with one another, regardless of nationality, than they do with non-TCKs from their passport country.[2][3] TCKs are often multilingual and highly accepting of other cultures. Although moving between countries may become an easy thing for some TCKs, after a childhood spent in other cultures, adjusting to their passport country often takes years.
    face-value wise i'd have more in common with an
    american that lived in brazil for 6 years better than
    an american born asian who can't speak anything
    else but english and only left the country once to
    go to their great-grandmother's 100th birthday in
    the motherland.

    for me, it has to do more with outlook and exposure
    to the world and openess.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

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