My immigrant mother’s love language was not hugging and kissing, but rather cutting mangoes into neat cubes and plating it neatly for us, while she scraped the remaining fruit off the pit with her teeth for herself. As Sae-ri observes, “The American marriage is talking and hugging. But that is not the Korean marriage. The Korean marriage is — what. It is one day after the other. It is the breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
Like most children of self-employed immigrants, I didn’t have health insurance, so I was amassing a massive debt in hospital bills and medication … No one seemed to be truly listening, just switching my medication and raising the dosage. I lost faith again, this time in psychiatry.
Immediately swipe left on pictures of non-Asian men wearing conical hats in China. However, if your otherwise “normal” date begins to wax philosophic about their travels in Asia to impress you, they may be harboring Western imperialistic ideals — bonus points for a white savior complex.
Perusing through the mouthwatering menu Na and Luan curated for the new business instantly evokes a certain Asian American nostalgia. There are classic boba and pat bingsoo flavors, but also innovative ones like White Chocolate Matcha Latte and White Peach White tea (reminiscent of Japanese peach candies), as well as Matcha Bingsoo and Dirt Oreo Bingsoo with oat milk shaved ice.
For many second-generation Americans, visiting the “motherland” can be a jarring experience. We’re initially delighted to be around people who look like us and speak like us — only to find out the way we dress, pronounce words and behave are all “wrong.” That, even in our “home countries,” we are outsiders. And yet, we might have sparkling experiences as well, ones that cross borders and place us in the cosmos, leaving us thinking, I can’t wait to come back.
“As we approach elections, we’re seeing that a lot of people genuinely do not understand that the “Defund the Police” movement is about redefining community safety. So I wrote an article about the reality of policing in America for BIPOC lives, the many systems we can implement (that are already in place in other parts of the world) instead to keep marginalized communities safe, and why Asian Americans in particular need to get on board.”
“As a privileged East Asian, I have been complacent in the violent systems of oppression in our country, a country that upholds white supremacy while pitting minorities against each other. I cannot ignore the fact that one of the Minneapolis police officers who stood by and watched while George Floyd was murdered was Asian American, or that he has a history of past complaints, including using excessive force against a Black man. George Floyd’s name has been added to a long list of modern-day lynchings, including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the list goes on.
We cannot stand by and watch this list grow any longer.”
“Like many ethnic cultures, Koreans tend to forgo measuring cups and written recipes, simply knowing what to add and how much to add by taste alone. But as we assimilate more and more into American culture through each generation, how do we hold onto our cuisines and their individual histories? How do we pass them down?”