July 17, 2009

Being Asian & a Filipino in America (part 2)


Now, if you yourself have asked or done the above things to other Asians, rest assured, it's never too late to do the right thing. Here are some tips that might be helpful when you meet or deal with Asians.

Do not assume they were born outside of the US. For all you know, their clan might've migrated eons ago. We usually joke that we get treated as if we're fresh off the boat (just don't know what boat is being referred to). We're not. Most of us actually flew in an airplane. Northwest, in my case.

Do not make fun of their intonation, twang, what-have-you. Get over yourself. There's no general English. Even if there's the ongoing craziness about British or American English. As long as they can communicate what they want, leave it alone. Even native English speakers do not necessarily use proper grammar.

Do not assume that the Asians you meet are poor - either in their countries or here in the US. Sorry for going in this direction, but seriously, not all folks who migrate do so for financial reasons. Believe me, if the reason is financial, you'd hear about it. Some people enjoy talking about how their lives are so much better in the US than from wherever they came from. I remember an instance when I uttered a desire to go back to the Philippines at some point in the future, and someone actually told me, "why'd you want to go back there? People are dying in the streets." As if HE'd been to my country. I didn't know what he was referring to and pointed it out as well. All he muttered was that he saw it on tv. Whatever.

People have been moving all over the world for the longest time. By this time, you should be used to it already.