Levels of Asian-ness

Fobby fashion, imported from Korea!
Fobby fashion, imported from Korea!

There’s an interesting thing that happens to us Asians in the western world. We are stereotyped as perpetual foreigners in the media, but we actually get ‘categorized’ by our fellow Asians, generally into two groups: the Fobby group and the ABC/BBC/CBC group. What are these two groups I will explain.

If you are a fob it means you recently immigrated here from Asia… you are an international student, or been here for a short time. Your style of fashion is most likely different, you prefer to speak your native language and your English is less than great. You find Western culture fascinating but you stick with your own culture for the most part. You tend to be conservative minded, and have traditional values. You love Karaoke. You love to watch Korean, Taiwanese or Japanese dramas and listen to Kpop, Jpop or Mandopop.

If you are an ABC/BBC/CBC, you are American Born Chinese/British Born Chinese/Canadian Born Chinese (If you are Korean or Japanese just replace the letters C with K/J). You were born and raised in Western culture. You are more or less the same as a white person. You speak English fluently and your native language less fluently. You enjoy the same type of culture and values as do Western people. Your sense of fashion is the same as anyone who was born here. You tend to be liberal minded, independent and date out of your own race frequently. You like to watch Dexter, House, The Office, Family Guy, etc. You like to listen to pop, hip hop and rap.

Thing about me, is I’m neither of those two groups. I’m in between… the rare type of Asian who was born in Asia and raised in Western society. What does that make me? Half and half? I feel awkward hanging around my CBC friends, and I feel awkward hanging around my fobby friends. I speak English fluently, and Mandarin semi-fluently. I enjoy both types of culture. My sense of fashion trends towards the fobby side, but not completely. I guess my hairstyle reflects this… I hate having the same short spiky hair as other people who grew up here, nor do I have the long permed, waxed hairstyle of kpop singers. It’s medium length and I love my side swept bangs! I also don’t go crazy on dyeing my hair like most fobs; I’ve dyed my hair before but its since gone back to black and I don’t want to keep re-dyeing it. I am socially liberal minded, I listen to all kinds of music, I watch Asian dramas AND western TV shows, yet idealistically I am conservative.

This puts me at odds against myself in some ways. Maybe I can’t decide for myself whether I am Western or if I am Chinese. Yes you can call me a Chinese-American-Canadian and I guess that will reflect just how diverse I am as a person. Whether or not you are in the same situation as me, I still want to hear your thoughts on this! So please comment! 😀



如果你是后者,所谓‘ABC/BBC/CBC’,那意思就是American Born Chinese (美生的华人)/British Born Chinese (英生的华人)/Canadian Born Chinese (加生的华人)。你基本上是个老外,因为你对西方文化很熟悉。你的英语很流利,不过你的中文有可能不善。你或多或少与西方人享受相同的文化和时尚感。你的思想比较开放,你重视独立,并会看上自己民族以外的人。你也喜欢看美国电视秀,也听美国流行音乐 (嘻哈,说唱之类的)。

关于我自己的形式,我可不属于这俩组,而是我夹在中间了。我是中国出生的,加拿大养的男孩。可以说一半一半。我的英语比我的国语流利。我喜欢中国文化,也喜欢西方文化。 我的时尚感往往走向’fobby’的一面,而且我发型是中等长度的。我的思想比较自由,开放的。我喜欢听各种音乐类型,喜欢看亚洲电视节目和西方影片。可是某些方面是对自己有矛盾的。。。也许我决不断到底是中国人还是西方人。无论我是中国人或是西方人呢,我觉得自己的背景和观点是挺多样的。