Asian Culture Day: What it's like to be Asian-American

The Newtonite

by Adam Rabinowitz

During F-block today, six students answered questions about their Asian background as part Asian Culture Day, organized by Asian Culture Club.

The panel consisted of seniors Ying Gao, Lauren Lo, Joseph Orduna, Libby McDonald, and Rafi Razzaque, and junior Madeleine Lundberg.

The students were asked questions such as how they identify themselves and about how it has been growing up as Asian Americans in this community. Gao said that identifying herself as Chinese in a community like Newton is not as hard as some people think.

“Growing up as an Asian-American in Newton is much easier than in other places. Being someone who has lived here as well as other places, Newton is very accepting,” she said.

Razzaque and Lo added that Newton is a very appreciative community. Razzaque said that Newton is a place where “the people want to find out more about you and where you came from.” Lo added that she was very fortunate to grow up in a place like Newton because it accepted her for who she was.

When asked if they had ever felt embarrassed of their Asian background, most responded saying that in a community like this, it does not happen often, if at all. Gao said that she used to sometimes feel this way, but not anymore. “When I was young I used to be ashamed because of my differences. However, as I grew up, I came to acknowledge my differences, because they make me who I am,” she said.

Many of the students also acknowledged that they may fit into some Asian stereotypes. Lo said that there are definitely a lot of stereotypes out there, but she isn’t sure of how many she fits into. “I wear glasses and I play piano, but I don’t think that I am a bad driver,” she said.

Razzaque also said that he doesn’t mind these stereotypes as much. “I’m fine with being stereotyped. It makes me who I am,” he said.