Being Asian Yet Not The Asian You Think - Blaber Blogger

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Being Asian Yet Not The Asian You Think

Being Asian, I have always been so proud of my heritage and culture and have always made sure that I spend time educating my friends and acquaintances about who I really am, yet there has been a dilemma. Well, I can't blame others as well as it could be confusing for a foreigner to 'really' understand what and how Asian I am.
    Oh yes, when you look at me you can actually say I am Asian yet most 'Asian stereotype' you have on your head, I could not so relate to that and no, I wasn't born or raised in the West. As an Nepalese Indian guy living in New Zealand, a lot of curious souls have asked me numerous questions about my culture, which seemed to fascinate them and I personally love explaining and introducing my culture to them and here I have listed couples of points which could seem Asian yet no so Asian:

  • Yes, I speak English fluently even though I was born and raised in my home country. A lot of people get surprised by how I could English fluently, which seemed to take them by shock knowing I moved to New Zealand just a year ago. There are countries which are 'non-English' where we learn how to speak English as kids and speak it our entire lives.
  • A lot of people have stereotypes for what kind of food I like. Knowing I am Indian, they have a theory I eat butter chicken, naan breads and curries at home everyday. Well, I don't mind them and actually love it, yet we didn't grow up eating those food and actually personally for me, I have eaten more naan breads and butter chicken after I moved out of my country. Plus being Asian, I was expected to know how to use chopstick which I had no idea how to even hold earlier neither did I grow eating the stereotypical 'Asian Food' which could be your Chinese, Japanese or Korean food.
  • It is quite fascinating when people try to guess what language I speak especially when other 'Asians' wonder if I am the same Asian as them and put forward a little friendliness speaking their native language with me. As much I would love to know and speak those languages, I always disappoint them as it is never a language I know that they come and speak with me. Whenever I go to eat out in an Asian restaurant, I always have the server come up to me handing out menus in their native language and start their conversation in it while on the other side I have no idea what they are saying, breaking the conversation and asking 'I don't speak the language you are speaking. Could you speak in English?' and then a mere disappointment and awkwardness in the face of the server. What is more fascinating is when I can actually speak Hindi and then there are Indians around speaking Hindi with no idea I can actually speak the language and yet I can hear everything what they are talking, which could be things so private that I wasn't supposed to hear.
  • The most interesting part is when people are confused about my ethnicity as I cannot relate to an Asian-Kiwi nor an Asian-Asian and lie somewhere in the middle even though I am so much Asian as anyone and then sometimes I can so relate to both the extreme groups. Plus when it comes to random strangers guessing where I originally come from, they never get it right after 20 guesses as well.
  • But at the end of the day, as stereotypical as it may sound I love rice and because of this love for rice Asians restaurants are a paradise. Especially living in Auckland which is so beautifully multi-cultural and diverse, I have had the experience of getting to know so many Asian cultures and of course food which has been such an enlightening experience.
But in this chaos and confusion of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities, one thing I have realised is that yes it does matter to have similar interests and common grounds for conversations and friends however talking about my culture and even educating myself about other's cultures have always sparked amazing conversations and today I am so glad to have met and befriended people from diverse background whom now I call friends and this multicultural city Auckland, my home.

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