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Old 02-21-2007, 03:50 AM
 
18 posts, read 80,363 times
Reputation: 14

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I'm a 21 year old college student in Dubuque who moved to Iowa about 2 years ago to pursue the bachelor's degree. So far, Iowa has been anything but fun. 2 years is by no means a short time period, and the 2 years for a person as young as me is supposed to bring some "golden" moments of life. I haven't had any significant moments so far that I shall cherish about. I go to college, work, go out once in a while and that's my life and that's the way it has stayed for the past 2 years. Dubuque is a town widely known for drinkers. Weekends are meant to party and get wasted, especially among college students and hence, Drinking is the idea of fun! I've had "fun" for sure but still, ignorance always comes up during the "fun" moments. Last weekend, me and some other friends from my homeland went out to a popular bar. As it turned out, few people were performing inside the bar, country songs, oldie goldies dancing to it, getting drunk. Shockingly within a minute, the same old customs started appearing; the familiar and common "cold, unfriendly" stares that I've been receiving for the past 2 years. The reason, I'm mistaken as a latino coz of my complexion ( brownish ) complexion. It does bother me a lot. Wherever I go, ignorant and uncultured Iowans ( not all but many of them are ) come across; be it walmart, or McDonald's, Olive Garden or a Movie theater. I feel embarassed to go out to go and watch movies. I was schooled in British form of English back home and English has been my second language ever since I was admitted to a Kindergarten but I just wonder why I get so much attention whenever I go to spots where language option might come into consideration. Take Driver's license issuing place for instance, the clerk told me that the instructions were available in other languages too. I'm more than sure that she was referring to Spanish. When the movie "Borat" came out, I was among the first viewers of it ( I knew that actor from other tv programs , before the movie even came out ). While the movie was playing, everybody was laughing their **** off thinking how stupid can foreigners be upon which I pondered , "How many of these people even knew that there was a country called Kazakstan before the movie came out?". Iowa has been my home away from home, no doubt. In fact I feel special attachment towards Iowa. Iowans haven't been the same for me though. Being a student at a Private college, Group discussions and group projects are an integral part of education system but I get ignored. Nobody approaches me while a group is being formed. Most of them are Iowans. This saddens me and I get emotional ( I don't cry though , guys dont cry!!! ). I come from a country where foreigners are treated as the forms of god. I don't expect to be treated in a similar way but at least I don't like to feel like I don't exist. I don't like to be laughed at while I'm at work. One good friend of mine ( American ) once told me that he feared me when I came here. I know that it isn't the same case in other parts of the US. Some might be worse, but many other parts are nicer, my friends tell me. I get amused after meeting some people who've never heard of Mt. Everest , let alone my country, Nepal. So much so that many of them don't even know the capital of Canada and Nebraska!!! Ignorance in Iowa freaks me out. Women are pretty but shallow and unfriendly at the same time and people in general have prejudice. However, it doesn't mean that all Iowans treat me the same way. People behave differently after they come to know about my background but I seriously WONDER, when will people start treating me like an ordinary human being? When will they stop making some funny remarks seeing me read a Newspaper. I agree that US is the country that is a home of a complete smart fellow in the form of Bill gates and a bunch of complete "Jack asses." but I care less about rest of America at the moment. I care about Dubuque & Iowa. I don't wanna flee away from Iowa, I want to contribute something to my "home" state that has given me a shelter for this long.
Any comments or feedbacks ? Frustration is creeping in and eating me out. I don't want to collapse! Iowa surely isn't a happening state, not for me for sure!!!!
( maniachere@hotm.com)

 
Old 02-21-2007, 05:58 AM
 
28 posts, read 115,047 times
Reputation: 14
I'm sorry that your time in Iowa has been less welcoming as you may have expected. How much longer do you have to be there? You stated that one person said they feared you, most people do fear the unknown and unfortunately a person with a different skin color seems threatening to them, why? I have no clue. I would love to have a opporunity to meet some one of a different background, for one reason I love to learn to see things from a different scope and maybe because I am a black person and I know the hatred that has been against many people of different races not just blacks, I have an open heart and mind to others. The sad part about it, is the others that are cold toward you are missing out. I wish you the best. I pray that you will be blessed with peace while you are there and a few good friends to support you. I was looking to move to Iowa this summer, Im not sure which way I will go just yet. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. P.S. I love reading the newspaper. Stay encouraged. God Bless
 
Old 02-21-2007, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,394 posts, read 4,172,934 times
Reputation: 954
I to am very sorry that people have not given you the chance to become a part of Iowa's history. I am a white person, with a future daughter-in-law who is Bosnian(sp) and a nephew in-law who is asian, what people need to know and learn is, they are missing out on so much, it has been such a treat learning about these different areas.
The culture is wonderful, and I never knew so much about an area until being able to sit down, and learn things for myself, as you get older, your minds seems to want to learn more about the world.
Again I am sorry, that people are just so into themselves, that they don't, want to get to know you, from what is inside of you, and not the color or race on the outside, it is a shame. You should not have to feel that way in this great USA, so please give others a chance before you honestly say they are bad people, you won't regret it, and you may enjoy learning something knew from another country or race. This is my opinion, and I guess I am one to give chances before I make any judgments, I hope some of you others feel the same way. Yorkie
 
Old 02-21-2007, 03:22 PM
 
18 posts, read 80,363 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the feedbacks and suggestions. I wish I'd have shared my fun and pleasant moments too but the crappy and unpleasant moments outweigh everything else! I consider myself an asian iowan.
P.S. What's up with the common American Perception that Asians are the only ones who have chinky/tiny eyes? :S Asia is the largest continent in the World, it isn't just China, Japan, Korea and Phillipinnes that fall under it, countries like India, Nepal ,Pakistan and Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia are Asian nations as well.
 
Old 02-21-2007, 03:28 PM
 
28 posts, read 115,047 times
Reputation: 14
I don't know why people think that.
 
Old 02-22-2007, 02:18 PM
 
8 posts, read 39,136 times
Reputation: 12
I wish I could offer some advice, but all I have to share is a similar experience. I moved to Des Moines in 2004 and all I had gotten from people is ignorant comments. My name is Scandanavian and at work I needed to wear a name tag. Every other customer would comment on my name and ask if it was hispanic. I don't even look hispanic! My father is from Eastern Europe, and I know I look European, but I guess Iowans only know American and Mexican? lol

Needless to say, I just moved back to my home state on the east coast a few months ago and I'm much happier! Des Moines was not for me. I found a lot of people from Iowa to be very unwelcoming and closeminded. The only people who accepted me were those who weren't from the state originally. *shrugs*

It was also very annoying because I was always open to learning about Iowa culture. A lot of native Iowans made fun of me for my accent, and my basic lack of knowledge about the midwest. Or assumed because I was an 'outsider' that I was stuck up and snobby (especially because I am from a larger city). Anytime I asked about something (i.e.: "What's a guinea grinder?") I would get incredulous stairs followed by, "Oh my God, you don't know what that is!? They don't have those back where you're from? What do you eat then!?". It was really trying.
 
Old 02-22-2007, 05:21 PM
 
28 posts, read 115,047 times
Reputation: 14
What's a guinea grinder.... What is that?????
 
Old 02-22-2007, 08:07 PM
 
8 posts, read 39,136 times
Reputation: 12
It's ground Italian sausage mixed with sauce and cheese and placed on roll (I believe that's the gist of it). It's big at the state fair. It smells good, but I don't eat ground meats, or pork. Since Iowa is such a large pork producer, people would look offended when I said I don't like pork. lol
 
Old 02-22-2007, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,394 posts, read 4,172,934 times
Reputation: 954
I was born in Iowa, and didn't know that. Sometimes people talk a little dry humor down that way. I wouldn't let anyone give you to much greif about it. Just have to learn to throw things right back at them, they seem to love it. Yorkie
 
Old 02-24-2007, 02:13 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 11,156,725 times
Reputation: 800
S. Asian
you should have selected Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana to study at. we have plenty of students from Asia and there is no problem with acceptance here.
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