Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mastering the Secret Art of Asian Parents

My own thoughts on the post below, given the wealth of responses is this. That there are Asian parents who are super strict and push their kids to succeed is undeniable. Anyone growing up in an area with some Asians in it probably knows someone whose parents were like this. This wasn't my experience but then, my parents aren't Asian. Probably parental pressure and expectation does play a large role in the high representation of Asian and Asian Americans in Ivy League schools and UCs. As well as probably math and Key Club. The other explanation is that we're just genetically that way, and that is both untrue (hell, look at me, clearly this isn't true) and also opens a whole other eugenical can of worms that I don't really want to get into right now.

That said, I do object to someone deciding this is a secret technique that other people can learn. Asians in America seem to be known for many exotic arts. The arts of making Chinese fortune cookies, kung fu, meditation, yoga, feng shui etc etc. All these "skills" have been marketed as "Secret Arts" at one point or other. So what the sisters Kim have done is really just change something else that's perceived as different about Asians and marketing it like the newest diet. For one thing, this would seem to make us seem even more different. ie "Let's raise our kids the way those people raise them so Billy and Sally can keep up with the super Asians." doesn't seem to be doing much good to Asian Americans at all. Just my two cents.


Laurel said...

I agree with you. I'm also glad that there was mention of how, oh, I don't know, this whole approach can fuck you up royally.

As I think I was telling you, I've been really interested in the way Oriah's being raised, and it's made me think a lot about my own childhood. I mean, it's easy to say "Well, it was worth it in the end because I'm less of a fuck up than most of my cousins," but I don't know, most of my cousins seem pretty happy, whereas even if I was academically successful, mostly right now I'm just depressed and (still) unemployed. So I guess what that really raised is the question of what's important, and if you can be happy and "successful."

Keep rocking out,

Anonymous said...

Ditto here.

But it seems like the only way people of asian descent can make money in the entertainment or "layman's self-help" book industry is to exaggerate cultural stereotypes. Do you think the book would have made more money if it had a chinaman on it?

I was watching Dave Chappelle(sp?) the other day and wondering if his comedy really empowers?

As they say, being assigned model minority status only serves to make asians even more other than the others of this country.


Talica said...

Don't forget tennis and souped-up red/white/black Honda Civics or Acura Integras with rap music vibrating the concrete (the latter may be another generation ; )