Growing up Asian American

A roundtable of Asian American women discusses their lived experiences, feeling stuck between two worlds and how to talk to children about racism and activism.
7:40 | 05/14/21

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Transcript for Growing up Asian American
Doing to the book. And the sacrifice it would take. There were many days when I wounded if I would ask permission. But having been through a total. I know this much. Welcome back that is the unforgettable scene in crazy rich Asians where mrs. young absolutely eviscerate its Rachel choose hopes of marrying her very knowledgeable son neck. And for those of you just joining us have been chatting with these amazing. Panelists. Women all of them journalist and author Vivian hope. Georgia representative and candidate for Georgia secretary of state be wind and within the studio Angela shoe. President of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association could all the way from Georgia and NYU associate professor doctor Doris Chang. Who is also a licensed psychologist who's been giving us all therapy. All the way. From the village but as we're talking want to add one more panelists joining us now from Hong Kong in the wee hours of the morning in so writer Doris slam. Who wrote an article for Huff post titled my parents expecting it'd take care of them. And I don't know what to do. So door slam let me is start with you for small thank you for joining us in the middle of the night east you wrote about those expectations more kind of about money than love did you. Have a moment that was sort of the Asian guilt trip moment. I wrote it during a time when I was about to graduate from you need cash and I was feeling a lot of pressure about how to make money to support my parents because. Neither of them really have. Retirement plan and I was Isa actually their retirement plan at stealing a lot of pressure. And so islands in the article I basically teach killed. How I was hearing a lot of pressure from my parents because they used DiLeo Piet she as a wave sue. Can't pressure me and sue a helping them and supporting them. And for those who don't know what affiliate of Hyatt she is it's basically. Chinese. Tradition and our way to honor our parents and thinking our elders for. Supporting them for supporting us patents. For all of sacrifices they've made so. The younger generation is supposed to take care of our elders after we grow up. And that is and that is culturally well known in so many Asian cultures and yet it goes on steroids when you immigrate to the United States on some mobile because. They then sacrificed. Themselves so much for your well being said the guild's is just layered on top of that I'm wondering. How you Doris were able to navigate that sort of cultural divide and also let them know. The pressure that you were feeling. I think growing. My parents sacrificed a lot for me just like any other parents way. And it's I have had to feel very grateful for obviously but also there's this that's connected culture. Because I more westernized Friendster more traditional. So I have to navigate whether I pledged become the very traditional daughter that they want. Horror follow my old half third fine and it's mean that we need some air. That is so profound stuck between two worlds I think many of us know that feeling in. Doctored Doris Chang the other Doris. I when you talk a little bit about that sort of very well known stereotype right of the tiger mom. That is literally the Asian American mom who's like pressuring her kids to be perfect to be in line with the model minority in my arrayed Angela. And and a half what kind of pressure that. Puts on kids and also is that simply an Asian thing is that an immigrant fingers that sort of like just to strive being American idea of like. Bootstraps. Success us. Ray 8 I am what I think it's in Frederick I think every every mother loves their child's right but for many Chinese immigrants who came to this country particularly recently. They did make a tremendous sacrifices they gave up very well paying jobs in their countries of origin in the hopes of giving their children about her life and they and they saw the way that. The society stratified that did the best path forward would be through education. And and really channel their energies in in cult training kids to get into the best colleges that they cut it. Instead they used kind of what the best strategies they can think to help their kids be as successful as possible. But what we're saying is that it has had. The effect of I'm creating a lot of pressure on kids and Asian kids talk about experiencing so much familial pressure. And internal rising India that they are only as good as their last test score. And so what we see in in the mental health space later on is that these kids are really trying to. The marine redefine themselves. Mask as whole people not just in terms of their achievements. And at the same time we're we're you know also recognizing that for the parents. An and an all the sacrifices that have been made. It's a very difficult fork in the road and I often tell the story about when I went off to college and I had you know my well meaning parents won immunity an engineer anchor of the Silicon Valley for goodness -- So I took all the freshman engineering pre engineering courses and I took the required political science course. And I promptly got a 27 out of a hundred on my first campus midtown. Therefore breaking the stereotype that Asian Americans and got him. Putting on out there house for however are not wanting to reinforce the stereotype that women are good at math aren't good enough because they are. But it for the first time simultaneously I got an and plus in political science and and I really felt like this was the first time where I felt like I'm gonna do something for myself. And and found Doris in Hong Kong I think that's what you're talking about is like trying to navigate. Com that distinction but BO want to bring you in on this team because you you know you grew up immigrant parents on the UN into the politics that must have been. Common interest in conversation with. Yeah. Well as teenagers my heart is always whining TU. Honor my parents are. Price is in these and whenever we thought hey. You know any humor in excellent grade and we require ending over here would not be better for his tire tracks when you. Are already there are a and it was well let me do you Wear and public school in public policy and camera her speak at this. I saw as a way each aren't parents legged sea but I. You organized immediately collecting currency systems exclude. Oh absolutely I think so many of us in the Asian American community understand that burden of somebody else's sacrifice and wanting to be worthy. Of that sacrifice that they made Dutch. You know I will say BI don't speak Vietnamese but I do speak momma bear and I can guarantee you that your parents are inordinately. Deeply and profoundly proud of the work that you're doing I know I certainly down. We have more hurt to get to in this conversation going got a quick break attends and continue on stay with us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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