In American culture, I feel there’s more of an openness over the past decade to addressing mental health, but it’s still an ongoing struggle for it to be taken seriously in Asian cultures. In my case, being mixed and first generation, I tend to be ping-ponged between the two. In an effort to take some of the weight off my chest, I’m writing to share a bit about my background and struggles on this self-care journey. Hopefully, there’s someone out there can gain something positive out of my story, even if that is just to know that you’re not alone.
If split pinky toes are a common characteristic among other nations and races, then why do some Han Chinese feel strongly possessive about it?
There’s a mistaken belief that America remains the “gold mountain” it once was for many immigrants. Being the token American in the family, there’s this expectation that I would give back and possibly sponsor others to gain a foothold in this land of plenty. My lack of money/inability to fulfill dreams comes off as improbable and disrespectful when it’s a known fact that I’m given so many opportunities and freedoms others wish they had.
“Ay, you! What province you from, again?” “Are you sure you’re American?” “But your face looks Chinese…eh, maybe you could be from Xinjiang, but no, not American.” These are the types of greetings I get every day in China from curious taxi-drivers, to cashiers, to grandmas who want to tell me that I should know…