We all have been told a joke once in our lifetimes that was funny the first time around but progressively, after the tenth or eleventh time told, becomes extremely irritating. A never ending antic that doesn't fail to arouse a chuckle in our high school, widely due to the diverse ethnic groups present, are the stereotypes regarding different cultures, particularly the Asian sect.
Being half Asian myself, I do take offense to these stereotypes even if they are meant to be a playful joke. Although I can understand where these generalizations originated, they do not apply to Asians as a whole entity. We do not deserve to be racially profiled in such a manner that degrades and humiliates us, especially as one uniform group.
In my high school, there is one statement that is made by many which makes the blood boil and hair rise: "Chinese, Korean, Japanese they're all the SAME THING". Excuse me? Are you saying that we all speak the same language and share the same cultural values and are all identical? Yes you're in high school. You're allowed to joke around. But racial profiling is still not something to take lightly.
I must admit, I find myself finding humor in the umbrella terms in which other ignorant people describe us. I find it equally amusing that people take one thing that they've observed from an ethnic group and apply it to everyone else in that group. Here are a few of my favorites, along with my responses:
1. You'll never get a driver's license. You're gonna be too AWD (Asian While Driving) For the record, I'm not an ancient grandmother who happens to be Asian in a beat-up Toyota battling arthritis while gripping the wheel... why, do I look like one?
2. What's for dinner tonight? Rice and dumplings? Yes, rice is traditionally eaten as a side to the main meal. And dumplings are cool. But I'm capable of eating spaghetti and meatballs too because I WAS BORN HERE.
3. You gotta teach me your kung fu sometime, I bet your ancestors were ninjas and samurais or something. No actually, my ancestors were peasants. And I have never learned any form of martial art. Also, Kung Fu is not the only ancient Asian martial art out there. Taichi, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu...
4. You got an 80 percent on that math test? You're dishonoring your family. Quit acting like I committed a felony. I didn't come straight out of Mulan.
5. Open your eyes. I can't even respond to that.
6. You're just like a banana: yellow on the outside, white on the inside. What can I say, our complexions are just so clear and translucent that they glow and reflect the yellow fluorescent lights.
7. Why are you on Facebook, go study math. Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean I'm destined for NIH. I have other interests too.
8. Jackie Chan is your role model. He is awesome, no doubt. In fact, he should be a role model to all cultures. But he is CHINESE and therefore not a hero to all Asian cultures.
9. Your hobbies? I bet they're solving rubik's cubes and folding paper cranes. Don't own a rubik's cube. Have yet to solve one. Origami is unique to Japan. And not everyone can do it.
10. Your hidden talent is chopstick battling. Don't hate because you eat your take-out with a fork.
There are various tweaks and complete changes that need to be made to the profound ignorance that is present in high school. There can be fun and games, but after a while we start to get sensitive towards these types of remarks. People are mature enough to understand that each individual is unique and don't deserve to be classified. This has been a rant from a not-so-average high schooler, saying over and out (*bows*).