Friday, November 6, 2009

Asian American Perspective

I've often wondered just how much "culture" I was/am supposed to incorporate/teach to my daughter... of course, I really have no idea. And I believe culture is not something learned like the ABC's, but more instilled in us... And don't get me wrong, even though I haven't tried too much yet, due to my daughter's age, I do plan to take her to Chinese school, FCC events, and any type of cultural events I can find. Well, that's the plan. Sort of feels superficial to me, but it can't hurt to try. Right?

This article written by an adoptee, tells me that some adoptees might feel the way that I thought they might... that being Asian American is what should be looked at more closely (not saying to not try to incorporate cultural identity).

Still, I'm willing to bet that many adoptees - if they are anything like me - will end up relating more to the Asian American experience than to the traditions in a far-off land that they have no memory of.

When I was a teen I had no interest in Taiwan or my Chinese birth family. As a young adult, I met my birth family. I bonded with my biological sisters, felt intoxicated with the bustling city of Taipei and learned Mandarin. Still, I came to understand I don't "fit in" completely. For me, the language, cultural and emotional barriers are simply too great.

Parents who ask me "how much culture" they think they should "give" their children must remember: culture is not inborn. It's organic and must evolve over time. While it's important to embrace where a child comes from, it is also essential to recognize that their current experience as an Asian in America is just as authentic and interesting as the one they might have had in the land of their birth.

Anyway, just more thoughts for National Adoption Month. :) I certainly want and will try to the best of my ability to help foster my daughter's identity. However she wants to look at herself and our situation, and her own life story.


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