5 Asian Stereotypes I Fulfill (and I’m Proud of Them)

Countering stereotypes about Asian Americans
Source: APA.org

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I’m Asian. I am an American of Chinese descent, and I was born and raised in the United States my entire life. I was raised in a Chinese-English bilingual household, where I spoke both languages with my parents.

Along with celebrating Western holidays like Christmas or Fourth of July, I also celebrated Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. I partook in school dances and athletics while also attending Chinese school on Saturdays and learned calligraphy in the process. I’d say that I had a fairly-equal parts Chinese and American culture growing up, and both have definitely shaped me into the person I am today.

I will say, though, I’ve slowly found myself becoming less connected with my Chinese roots as I’m getting older. Since graduating college and moving abroad to France for a few years for work saw a slight deterioration in my Asian identity, as I was in a different environment with a different language, as well as being thousands of miles away from my family with whom I could communicate in Chinese with. While I wasn’t actively doing away with my Chinese traditions, I wasn’t necessarily holding on to them very well.

However, there are still a lot of customs I still hold onto today. Even when I’d been far away from home and family, I still kept up Asian traditional habits that I’ve had since I was young. Some might be considered stereotypical, but I’d say that they still hold some truth to them. I would like to share some of them with you. Perhaps you do some of these, too– Asian or not!

5 Asian Stereotypes I Fulfill

1. Taking shoes off at home.

Yup, this one’s a no-brainer: I take my shoes off EVERY TIME I step into my house. Growing up and going into my *non-Asian* friend’s homes, it boggled my mind that their households would leave their shoes on. I mean, seriously, you track in a ton of dirt and bacteria from the outside, and it’s annoying having to clean the house nearly every day because of that. I always feel so uncomfortable if I wear my shoes at home, so as soon as I step inside, they’re coming off!

2. Drinking hot/lukewarm water.

At least in Chinese culture, it’s kind of a bad, superstitious thing to consume cold water, or anything cold, for that matter. Reason is that doing so disrupts blood circulation, which can then disturb other circulatory systems. So to keep the body at a consistent 98.6°F, one drinks hot water (or at least lukewarm). I used to find it strange, especially on a hot summer’s day when ice-cold water is tempting, but now, I find myself actually seeking out hot water to drink– and it really does make me feel better!

3. Drinking tea (and lots of it).

I didn’t start drinking tea regularly until I moved to France. Living on my own, I began having my hot cups of the herbal, caffeinated beverages almost daily for breakfast and lunch. Even coming back to the US, I still have tea nearly every day. I enjoy the Chinese flavors like jasmine, oolong, and your standard black tea. Always really soothing after a solid meal, especially if it was super heavy– the tea does a good job of cutting through the oils and fats of the food consumed. Definitely helps with digestion, too!

4. Covering up, even if it’s hot.

When I was a teenager growing up in California, I wanted to be a sun-kissed all over my body. In fact, I did get quite tan due to cross-country practice in high school and otherwise just soaking up the sun on hot summer days. However, I’ve since become the opposite in adulthood, as I’ve lived in cold, dark parts of France and work mostly from home back in the US. I also don’t seek out the sun anymore, as I even find myself actively avoiding it by rarely stepping outside when it’s out and, if need be, covering myself from head to toe with at least light, breathable clothing– even if it’s blazing hot outside. It’s really true that Asian women maintain really good skin by not being outdoors too often, and I think it’s a good habit to consider!

5. Tiger balm cures EVERYTHING.

Yes, EVERYTHING. There’s absolutely no science to back up this claim, but still, I believe it. From headaches to stomachaches to mosquito bites, Tiger balm is a gift from my Chinese ancestors. It’s better than Icy-Hot, and it leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, too. Tiger balm has honestly saved me from horrible migraines, upset tummies, and everything in between– do yourself a favor and try it out at least once, if you haven’t already!

…and that’s about it! What are some things that you do on this list? Let me know!

— The Finicky Cynic

Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic

2 thoughts on “5 Asian Stereotypes I Fulfill (and I’m Proud of Them)

  1. I always take my shoes off as soon as I step inside the house. I never understood why they leave their shoes on in TV shoes; it’s unrealistic and impractical. Personally, I don’t know any white folk who keep their shoes on indoors. My mom will occasionally wear shoes indoors and I keep telling her how unhygienic it is.

    Tbh I didn’t know that you were Asian…. I guess I’m OTL. My husband has Chinese roots (and Singaporean roots) as well. To this day I don’t understand why Asians drink hot water. Why? I don’t like the taste of plain hot water and will add a tea bag to mine.

    1. rebbit7

      Yes, thank you! Wearing shoes indoors makes me uncomfortable; even if I only wear them for a few seconds as I’m grabbing something I forgot at home, I feel uneasy.

      I’m American, but of Chinese-Taiwanese descent. I think the hot water is more of a mainland Chinese/Taiwanese thing, as I do see it less here in the US. But tea all the way, whether here or overseas!

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