When I was a kid, I didn’t have much interest in my Asian heritage. Being a Chinese Canadian was just a simple matter of fact, and there were plenty of us in Vancouver. I was much more interested in the “Canadian” part of my identity, listening to English language music and watching English language television. But now that I look back, and look at myself today, I’ve got to wonder: Was I a good Asian? Am I a good Asian? And what does that even mean?
The impetus for this week’s vlog started when I listened to the first episode of Chatting with Casey, the podcast by fellow Canadian dad Casey Palmer. In it, he raised the question of whether he was “black enough” to talk about black issues. He married a Caucasian woman and he’s done quite well for himself.
So, here we are. For my part, I felt like my childhood was similar to that of Eddie Huang where I was into hip hop and basketball. I mean, I participated in Chinese traditions, but never really looked into them. And even though I generally did well in school, I wasn’t exactly being a “good Asian” as I wasn’t taking piano lessons or going to Kumon.
Cultural identity has always been a touchy subject and it’s certainly a hot button topic these days. My Chinese heritage is a big part of who I am, even if I don’t exactly fit perfectly into the ideal mold of a good Asian.
In any case, here are the questions I pulled from that Lunch Break episode.
- Do you like dim sum?
- Do you like to eat weird stuff?
- Did you do Kumon or Model UN?
- Did you go to Chinese school?
- Did you learn piano or a string instrument?
- Did you go to school for business, engineering or law?
- Did you ever get a C in school?
- Do you refrain from turning on the heat or air conditioning?
- Do you always grab extra napkins?
- Do you check in on your grandparents every once in a while?
- Have your parents ever cut your hair? Do they still?
- Do you drive a Toyota?
- Are you good at net sports like tennis and badminton?
- Can you dance like the K-pop dance crews?
- Do you like basketball, Boyz II Men and BMWs?
What’s your score? You know that anything less than 90 percent is considered a fail, right?