AAPI Culture

How does it feel to be AAPI?

April 8, 2022

I'm joan

I am a Korean American daughter of immigrants, a USAF veteran, and author. Welcome to my blog.


From my experience? Let me tell you…

Torn between two worlds. I felt too Asian in my American community, yet too American living in my own house. It was a clashing of the worlds and the struggle to reconcile the two identities was real. My Tiger Mom was clenching her grip on me and I didn’t know how to escape and take ownership of my life and figure out who I was. Kids at school called me “white-washed”. They called me “Twinkie” or “Banana” because I was “yellow on the outside, white on the inside.” When I think back on this today, I feel total shame because I never corrected them for calling me these names. We were never Twinkies or Bananas. We were swirl. Because to be Asian American today means we are infused with dual cultures and identities. They had it wrong the whole time. It’s accepting the in-between place we stand. Because we are pioneers of this identity. Our parents moved here from another country knowing who they were, and we were born on American land, set out to discover on our own what it really meant to be Asian American. And it means accepting our westernized parts and the parts of Asian culture we have adapted and carried over from our parents.

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© joan sung writer 2022  |  Design by Tonic  |  Photos by social squares & Unsplash