Are you Asian (or perhaps just interested in Asian stories)? Did you feel out of place when you were a kid, being not white and not quite Asian enough? You wished you had double eyelids and were a walking billboard of name brand clothes? You drove a Honda, Acura or Toyota and maybe even lowered it and had a roaring giant exhaust pipe? Your house smelled of nuoc mam, fermented cabbage, medicinal herbs or Salonpas? The only Asians you saw in the media were Connie Chung or Lisa Ling and the actors who played smart students or the ones who could kill you by jabbing the right pressure points? Your mom would talk to you in public in her mother tongue and strangers would stare? Your parents emigrated to America in hopes that you would get straight As in high school, then go on to college to become a doctor, lawyer, dentist, engineer or pharmacist? Well, that sums up me, your podcast host.
Now that I’m a 30-something-year young woman with kids of my own, I never want them to feel the same way I did as a child—not sure of their identity, lacking exposure to positive and dynamic Asian representations in their lives, limited in the possibilities of professions that they can go into as an adult, and becoming embarrassed whenever their parents spoke loudly to them in Vietnamese in public. I want my children to be proud of their heritage and ethnicity, to help them build a strong sense of self, and to provide positive role models who serve as a source of inspiration so that they may take risks in order to become whatever it is that they want to become (as long as they’re independent of my bank account!).
Which brings me to why I created this podcast:
Asians have always been the quiet minority, underrepresented in all facets of public life. While they’re getting more recognition in the media and securing more corporate and film/tv positions, we can’t rely on others to tell our story and to give us a voice—we must do it ourselves. I created this podcast to give my 10-year-old self and my young children positive stories about people who look like them who can achieve anything despite the disadvantages and setbacks that they may have experienced early on in their lives.
I hope these stories will inspire, uplift and entertain you, and if nothing else, make you proud of being Asian.