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Old 06-24-2009, 03:35 PM
 
21 posts, read 80,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
Good luck, anyway, but I think your ethnicity won't be an issue.

I'm glad that you have something positive to add, but I feel that it is an issue. I feel like if people can't tell I'm a actually from around here, they wont even give me a chance, no offense to people who can't speak English but I can see how Americans won't approach them. So I'm just trying to figure out if people just can't tell or are unwilling to and would just prefer not to talk to anyone that look the way I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
but the level of skill in the English language might
Some people won't even talk to me to find out. So this is going purely by looks.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:52 PM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,288,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazsGirl View Post
I'm glad that you have something positive to add, but I feel that it is an issue. I feel like if people can't tell I'm a actually from around here, they wont even give me a chance, no offense to people who can't speak English but I can see how Americans won't approach them. So I'm just trying to figure out if people just can't tell or are unwilling to and would just prefer not to talk to anyone that look the way I do.



Some people won't even talk to me to find out. So this is going purely by looks.
Okay, now I'm getting a different picture of your concerns than I did from your OP. I can understand your concerns that people might see your countenance and assume that you do not speak English. Your concern is understandable, but I don't see how it would apply in real life. Sure, some passing strangers, or passengers on public transit might see you and make such assumptions, but in any a job interview, classroom, or work situation I can imagine, those people have inherently be speaking to you, immediately discovering that you speak perfect english and understanding your background.

Also, depending on where you're living, I'm not sure it even matters at all. I lived in the SF Bay Area for many years and the asian population in my area and at work had to be at least 50%, so going around and assuming that every asian-looking face was FoB would have been absurdly ignorant on my part. If anyone chooses to condescend you in such a way, that's their problem.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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At the most basic, I think you can tell a lot based on the way they carry themselves. American-born Asians tend to be a lot more assimilated and usually well-adjusted socially, whereas the FOB Asians tend to be on the awkward side, socially speaking.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:22 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,979,387 times
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I think how long they've been here and where they're from would matter. I knew a kid born in Taiwan, but raised in Paraguay, who seemed pretty much like an Asian American. He had went to an American ran school in Paraguay and acted very "American." You'd have to see him with Hispanic students to really note much of a difference. (I suppose in a way he was a Taiwanese-Hispanic-American) Immigrants from Thailand are often going to be pretty different from Koreans as the cultures are different. Asia is a big place.

I don't have much experience here so maybe shouldn't talk, but Asia is of interest to me and my current priest is Burmese. I'd say generally that Asian immigrants I've seen tend to be a bit shier and more polite than Americans in general or Asian Americans. I think this is not that unusual with immigrants in general as they're often trying to adapt so may want to avoid offense or miscommunication. Although it seems to be a bit more true of Asian immigrants I've seen than other kinds of immigrants. That stated it's not universal, the few Thai immigrants I knew were relatively outgoing. Also my experiences Asian immigrants, when they're not professors or students, are sometimes more religious than native born Asians. I remember being at a Chinese restaurant and the owner asking me if I was a Christian. I am, but I thought this was a rather peculiar question to ask a customer and wasn't sure how to feel about it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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DazsGirl,

A few comments. As a disclaimer, I am white with an Asian girlfriend. She was born in Asia, but has been here for many years and is very Americanized (she is a permanent resident), but she is not Asian-American. We have been together several years and have traveled throughout the US and Canada and have lived on the east and west coast as a couple. There are certain parts of the country where I kind of expected a bit of negative feedback or some bias against her (rural Arkansas) and received nothing but friendly faces. There are other parts (some very rural parts of Ohio) where I felt there was a little bit of discomfort, but in general the large majority of the time I never felt I or her were discriminated against or looked at any differently.

There is some cultural bias against Asians in my experience, in certain geographic areas and among certain types of people. I think some people feel as if they have a limited connection with "things Asian" and people from Asia, even if they are born in the US they are seen by these types of people as, essentially the same. These are the types of people who will be shocked that you can speak English, and even more shocked that you don't have an accent.

Not to rag on Indiana, but I have heard two stories similar to yours about people from Asia (one more of a FOB the other Asian-American) that had miserable experiences there (they were in upper 20s low 30s age bracket). Also note that it is not typical behavior in the US. I am not sure how old you are but if you haven't traveled around much I invite you to explore different regions of the country where you might feel as if you fit in better. A lot of it isn't even a race thing...there are many parts of the country where I go and feel as if people look at me like, "I'm not from around here," and I'm sure that feeling just multiplies for you as a minority.

I think, immediately the best thing for you to do is smile, be friendly and don't let people's misconceptions about your cultural background get in the way of living your daily life. There are obvious differences between American born and Asian born people of Asian ancestry, but to the people you are dealing with, they make little or no distinction. You are just as American as anyone else and should not behave as if you are an outsider. If you act like you are an outsider, people will often think of you as one. Just understand that there are many parts of the US where people won't look at you any differently than they would a white American (think anywhere in the West or basically any major city).
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:37 PM
 
7,602 posts, read 9,459,597 times
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Default I'm guessing that that you're...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DazsGirl View Post
I'm glad that you have something positive to add, but I feel that it is an issue. I feel like if people can't tell I'm a actually from around here, they wont even give me a chance, no offense to people who can't speak English but I can see how Americans won't approach them. So I'm just trying to figure out if people just can't tell or are unwilling to and would just prefer not to talk to anyone that look the way I do.



Some people won't even talk to me to find out. So this is going purely by looks.
...one of the few, and perhaps the only Asian student in your school. Inserting yourself into conversations might be a little uncomfortable, but perhaps you might initiate one yourself, especially concerning news, sports or popular culture. I really believe that the concept of diversity is strongly on the rise, and you might be in a great position to set a good example for everyone else. There may be some curiosity seekers who may try to "test" you, but I'm confident that you'll find friends of all backgrounds.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:39 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,799,161 times
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I'm going to assume that unless you are in Indianapolis, or a college town, then most likely you are going to be surrounded by white people. And typically, it doesn't matter if you're black, white, asian, or whatever, if you are not accostomed to looking at various ethnicities and seeing the differences between them, then you will blur everything together. For example, before I went to college, I had never met an Indian. After going to college and working with a few, I can tell differences between various ethnicities in India.

Anyway, my advice is to take the initiative and talk to people, find people who have similar interests.

But that's assuming you want advice... so take it for what it is, some electrons on your screen.

To answer your original post, I do notice some differences between New World-born East Asians and East Asians from East Asia. Physically, and this is just me, I notice that the men are taller and the women have larger breasts and rounder hips, even if both parents are Asian. I attribute this to diet and all the hormones that exist in the foods in America and Canada. This is purely broad strokes and there are plenty of examples to the contrary (I dated a Chinese girl in college who was anything but petite).

This is a general trend too - talk to any teacher with 30+ years experience and he or she will tell you that kids of all races are developing earlier than ever. Of course that will impact a person even into their 20s, so it depends on when they emigrate. If they come over as kids, then they will act / look more "American" (meaning New World American). If they come over for college, then the effects will be less pronounced as they are already adults.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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I guess I also don't see why someone would be any more hesitant to approach a foreign-born Asian student than an Asian student born in the United States. It makes a good litmus test, though: if someone doesn't want to talk to you because they think you're from some other country then why in the world would you want to be friends with that person anyway?

And I don't mean this to sound accusatory, but are you giving the foreign-born students at your school a chance?
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:24 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 9,008,917 times
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Im half Filipino and I just came back from a month long vacation in the Philippines. It's very Americanized there. Most people can speak some English, some speak it with an American accent. American TV and movies are in English instead of dubbed. TV and radio hosts usually speak English. Signs are also in English. American pop culture is everywhere. But still, there is a difference between Filipino-Americans and Filipinos in the Philippines. They just act differently. Interpret this how you want but Filipino-Americans remind me of white people while Filipinos in the Philippines remind me of black people. I grew up around white and black people and the cultural difference between Filipinos and Filipino-Americans was just as big. Not trying to generalize, but thats really what this thread is about anyways.

Also, a "FOB" isn't really a good indicator of how people back in the old-country act. A newly-arrived immigrant isn't gonna act like they do in their old country because they're in a totally new environment. Many of my cousins are very outgoing but I can just imagine if they were to move to America, they would probably become very reserved for awhile. That's why "FOBs" seem really reserved a lot of times.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:35 AM
 
21 posts, read 80,592 times
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone!
I do attend college, Purdue university to be more specific, and if you are familier with this school there are a lot of international students. It may sound really odd to people but I have never seen so many Asians! From k-12 I had all white friends, and it just seems in college (this one anyway) people approach me less or are much less likely to befriend me. I honestly don't feel connected with anything but American culture or Western in general, I'm sure some people would like to say thats some kinda of betrayal to my own culture. But may I ask what defines a person? Is it my face? Is it because I look Asian and my family is Asian that I MUST like it more than the place I'm actually from?

I mean is it necessary to have to "stick with my own kind" for me to feel better about myself? I have no problem with the way I look or what my background is, I just simply don't understand why other people do.

Last edited by DazsGirl; 06-25-2009 at 08:48 AM..
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