Asian Air 


(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:53:40 PM)

o generalization does justice to the infinite variety of character types among Asian Americans. There is simply no way to distinguish us from any other American ethnic group. Really? Please move on to another page.
     Let's start by acknowledging at least that in fact generalizations do exist about traits thought to be prevalent among Asian Americans.
     Some are the goofy kind based entirely on media stereotypes -- passive, nerdy, diligent, sneaky, etc. Others are conclusions formed by us Asian Americans based on years of experience and observation. Who better to evaluate our traits against those of our fellow Americans? Most of us live and work side by side on a daily basis with the broadest possible spectrum of humanity. Unlike Asians across the ocean, our opinions of Whites, Blacks and Hispanics aren't based on those annoying Hollywood stereotypes. And unlike Hollywood scriptwriters, we don't see our fellow Asian Americans through the distortion of vulgar commercial motives.
     So what do we know about ourselves?

     We are more sensitive. We are boorish. We have more integrity. We betray one another. We are more intelligent. We are superficial. We are aggressive. We avoid confrontation. We don't yak as much. We gossip too much. We have more respect for traditional values. We only pay lip service to traditional values. We value education and cultural attainments. We only care about making money.
     Who among us doesn't indulge in generalizations? Some are frivolous, some are based on insights gained from long years of experience and observation. Most remain locked up in the privacy of our own minds.
     How do we Asian Americans stack up in the character and personality departments compared with our fellow Americans? Share those nuggets of wisdom and perceptive powers. What better way to improve ourselves than to start by understanding ourselves?

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When I was a little boy, oh, about 5 years of age through 10, back in the late 50's, Television and movies always portrayed Asian's as always bowing. This was done so much that i thought it was a cultural way of humbleness,shyness, saving face. I never knew what to make of it. And, Asians, in the 60's on American TV were usually cooks. And they too had this humble, easy to please persona. I'm not saying this is negative, it just always made me think that Asians were very nice people. I have never thought otherwise and i'm in my middle 50's.

I have always looked on Asians and the way they did things or behaved was due to their collective strong spiritual discipline, that is what i always thought. The word "shyness" never came to my mind until mentioned here on this forum.

In the mid to late 60's when I saw Asians in my community here in Illinois, they usually owned and operated cleaners and private resturants.

I think that word shyness may also be a sign that some Asians are and were not comfortable in using the American English language, so they tend to show a outward appearance of shyness.
Blackpanther    Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 10:30:32 (PDT)    []
Well, I guess it is universally agreed that Asians are very shy. But I doubt if this has anything to do with our genes. I believe it is majorly because of our culture or maybe education. I have always stayed in Shanghai, China. So I would like someone born and raised in the US to tell me whether you are still shy. Do you think this has something to do with our education? Not necessarily in school but from our parents maybe? Thank you!
   Friday, March 28, 2003 at 02:57:24 (PST)    []
social skills are developed. I have finally read (parts) of the 7 habits of highly effective people and I agree.

Because of the own seesaw in my social skills ;)

In anycase, Ray, with the study thing, it is silly and serves no purpose, except perhaps to continue propagation of stereotypes. Aside from that, I have a tendency to megalomania, that body language would not do justice. (I could be napping, too, when the person is making his judgment)

Quality of sleep, emotional disturbances (sad furious anxious ecstatic euphoric) can all disrupt "normal" social.. uh, intercourse.

I find that certain people seem to demand my attention with their body language.. noticeably, mmm, some girls have amazingly subtle and sensuous body talk -- but the real issue is guys who try to be threatening or whatnot.

My first response is to laugh but then I realize it seems that they are trying to assert dominance and I get mildly offended. Why not more? I dunno, I just don't care. I wonder why they place such emphasis..

bah I have wandered.. in anycase social skills are pretty natural and easy to pick up, IMO, it is all a matter of pretending, after all =p

I cannot be more clear and am rambling so I will discontinue for now.
Captain of the Stars
   Monday, September 16, 2002 at 16:26:02 (PDT)    []

I completely agree with you 100%.
Its really a shame.
lil filipina
   Wednesday, September 04, 2002 at 14:29:03 (PDT)
FOP....That is hilarious!! When I was in college, many students from other countries would say that white Americans always had to get drunk to either have fun or muster up courage. Reading your post reminded me of that! It also reminds me that the KKK always had to wear masks and attack people in numbers, never alone b/c they are actually cowards.
   Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 18:39:17 (PDT)
I think you're reading too much into it. It's just a normal ingroup vs. outgroup distinction. Whether it's just a convenience for general vs. specific reference like AC Dropout says, or reflects a deeper mentality, I don't know. But I don't buy the false consciousness theory that my KA friends calling themselves Korean to contrast themselves from other Americans is some kind of insiduous acceptance of their outsider status in society.
T.H. Lien
   Monday, July 08, 2002 at 22:31:47 (PDT)