May 1, 2014
Throughout the world, we mostly know racism as a certain ethnicity judging another ethnicity. But what most of us don’t know is that racism also occurs between those of the same ethnicity. Second generation individuals are children of a first generation who has moved from a mother country to the United States of America. They are constantly being put down by their own race for not being culturally attached to their primary ethnicity. The idea of their second generation being “American” sometimes disgusts those who were born from different countries. As a fellow Asian- American, I know exactly how it feels to be put down by relatives or even total strangers that were born in my mother country. After analyzing Hsiang’s passage, the passage reveals that second generation Asian Americans are constantly being put down for their choices and actions. Members of the first generations cling to their ethnic heritage (Hsiang 306). I believe that members of the first generation tend to stick to their primary ethnic background as a sign of respect to the country itself. Also, they do this as a show of respect to their elders as well. For example, I myself do not know a lot of my ethnic language, but when I speak to my grandparents, I try my hardest to speak in that language as a sign of respect. They are perfectly capable of speaking English, but it just seems to be a sign of respect when you speak to them in a language they grew up to learn. Many members of the second generation find it difficult to see this as a sign of respect and tend to just speak to their elders in English. First generation individuals may see this as a sign of disrespect towards them for not trying to speak their native language.
Members of the second generation reject a many aspects of Asian culture as possible and concentrate on being seen as American (Hsiang 306). I don’t necessarily think that this statement is true in all cases. I feel that most second generation individuals tend to try their hardest to learn the ways of their native culture just to show the first generation that they have respect towards them. Even though I was not born in the Philippines, I learned how to cook traditional Philippine dishes from my mother and grandmother. I also participate in many activities that teach me more about my culture and how it derived. Some second generation individuals focus more on learning more American culture which baffles some members of the first generation.
Second- generation Asian Americans often face pressure from their parents, who believe that the privileges we are allowed in this country make us spoiled and ungrateful (Hsiang 307). Many children who are born in America usually obtain more opportunities than those in countries that are not as intellectually successful such as many third world countries. As an Asian American, it is easy for me to just go out and purchase a cheeseburger and fries at any time of the day. As for children in third world countries, obtaining a simple meal can be nearly impossible in very poor areas of that country. When I don’t finish my food, my parents always tell me that kids in the Philippines would never waste food and were always grateful for whatever food they received. I see this situation as unfair because they are comparing the living situation of how it is where they are from to how it is in America, which is totally different and incomparable. Even though it is easy for some kids in America to get their hands on food, this isn’t always the case in the poorer parts of America. I also blame parents for believing that their kids are spoiled because they are the ones buying everything for them. Nowadays I see kids with iPhones and laptops, while when I was a kid all I had was a simple Gameboy or a Barbie doll. I just think that parents are the issue when it comes to blaming their kids as being spoiled and ungrateful. For example,