Hello India!!!

Hello India!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

It’s more than just me being Hmong

At first it was extremely difficult to deal with my identity as Hmong person. I'm not "American" in their eyes and I'm not "Chinese" in my eyes. I was considered "Mixed Vegetable" meaning I am Asian not brought up in Asia. At first it was really shallow and all about the physical looks. 

But as my journey is coming to an end at this point, I can honestly say that (some) Indians have been very supportive and open about my ethnicity and cultural background. Trust me, Indians know WAY more about DIVERSITY and the US will ever know about diversity. It's tremendously diverse here.

In the US when we talk about diversity it's usually nothing more than the physical characteristics of a person's identity - sometimes we went to the cultural level of diversity - but still, it's nothing compared to India's. 

I understand why they get confused when I say I'm from the US. First of all I'm not WHITE. Let me elaborate. It's not entirely India's fault for this misunderstanding. It's also the US's fault for only letting white people represent the US. The Whites dominate the international cinema, the news, the politics, the gossip, the music, and especially the tourism. When this is all Indians see about the US, of course they will get confused if a Chinese-looking girls claims she's American.

So it takes people like me (and other non-White Americans as well as open-minded White Americans) to come to India to represent ourselves and to say that America is more than just white, rich, snobby Americans who complain about every goddamn thing that is unfamiliar to them. It takes people like us to speak out about the versatility of the US, the good the bad and the ugly. Because here in India they don't hide anything. They show their true faces, be it happy or mad. They show their poverty. They show their wealth. They show off this knowledge. They show off their anger. They show off their flaws. Nothing is hidden. Americans hide a lot of things - especially their flaws. 

Plus, what is Hmong to this world anyway? How will people ever know of Hmong people if all of us concentrate in the Twin Cities area? At the end of the day I'm HUMAN, you're human, Indians are human, whites are human, blacks and human, etc. We fight so hard to say THIS IS WHO/ WHAT I AM! when in reality we are all very similar. I don't know why I fought so hard to prove that I was/am Hmong here. (Ok, I do know why, but still...) 

When I came to terms that I AM HUMAN it definitely changed the way I saw my surroundings. I saw the beggars on the streets and me as equals. I saw the white students on this trip with me as equals. I saw Indians was equals. Everything becomes less hierarchal when you break down all the social norms we've created for our human race.

*Inspired by my conversation with Mysee Chang. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kia! I am really proud of how much you have grown and gained from studying in India. Reading your blog has been helpful. I don't know how India will be like for me or how I will react to it. What I do know is that I am really excited about India and I look forward to having a great experience. Can't wait to see you on campus again - which, probably won't happen until the Fall of 2012 because I will be going abroad in the Spring of 2012 to Jaipur, India. Just want to let you know that everyone misses you very much!