Archive for March, 2008

Sometimes, Asians like to eat the world’s grossest foods to freak out their friends. In the 1980’s, Japanese Asians liked to push raw fish onto unsuspecting people. It because one of the running gags in several comedians’ repertoires. However, sushi has become mainstream, and it has become more and more difficult to shock straight-laced American friends.

If you are not Asian, you may want to avoid the following, lest you be subject to hushed chuckles among your Asian compatriots:

Durian – it looks like an exotic spiky fruit, not unlike a pineapple. Surely you would expect it to taste sweet. Instead, durian smells like strong flatulence. This may sound crass, but unfortunately it is very, very true. If someone opens up a durian fruit, it is not uncommon to hear people wonder if something died nearby. Just to give you an idea of how awful the experience is, the Travel Channel‘s Andrew Zimmern will eat just about anything on his “Bizarre Foods” show, yet he had trouble choking down durian.

Balut – On one informal internet list, this was considered the most terrifying food in the world. It has even been made a challenge on the NBC show “Fear Factor.” Balut is basically a boiled egg, but with a chicken or duck embryo still inside. If you are unfortunate enough to take a good look at the embryo, you will notice that the feathers and toes have already formed.

Shrimp (with head) – This may come as a surprise to non-Asians, especially the people who buy them in backs of 50-60 at the local Safeway, but shrimp actually have heads. Asians are not bothered to see little black beady eyes staring back at them. In fact, Asians are perfectly comfortable twisting the heads off, and then sucking the gooey innards inside.


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Nearsighted Asians, especially ones in their teenage to college years, like to wear glasses with thick, black plastic frames. In most cases, they are narrow and rectangular. This applies to both male and female Asians. While this would make a Caucasian person look like a librarian or a nerd, these glasses almost look fashionable on Asians. This is partially due to the fact that Asian eyes tend to be generally smaller than the ones seen in other races. The black frames creates an illusion that the corneas are larger than they really are.

Additionally, a lot of Asians really are nerds. However, Asians are generally more proud of their nerdiness than those of other races, since intelligence is actually considered an asset in Asian culture. The “Smart Asian” is a stereotype, yes … but being considered “smarter than everyone else” is hardly the worst stereotype anyone can attach to any group of people. Asians are more than happy to feed this stereotype. By donning the glasses, a young Asian imparts a subtle sense of stoicism, braininess, and practical conservatism.

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For some reason, Asians always drive a Honda Odyssey.

For the most part, Asian Americans are not about style. Otherwise, they would be driving something sportier … or at least an SUV. No, Asian Americans are all about cold, hard rationality. Nothing symbolizes that quite like the boxy, soulless appearance of a typical Honda Odyssey.

The Odyssey comes in 9 exterior colors. However, the only color you will see is silver. That is because this color does not show dirt and soil as much as black or white. Pure. Cold. Rationality. Silver is also the color that never stands out. This is very indicative of Asian culture, since Asians are all about cold-blooded conformity.

Recently, by the way, Honda has tried to spice up the image of the Odyssey by showing 1960’s Woodstock style commercials. This is a huge mistake since: 1) no one in the world will ever recognize the Odyssey as a cool vehicle, and 2) it would alienate the core Asian buyers. This should not be a problem, since Asian American will not be able to understand the commercial. After all, there were no Asians at Woodstock.

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Asians love to create knock-offs of things that are popular.  

This has been hardwired into the culture ever since the British founded Hong Kong.  In Japan, the tradition of taking American inventions are creating smaller, less expensive versions has been a touchtone of their culture since the recovery efforts of World War II.  In China, this is more of an effect of corporations finding cheaper labor in the mainland.Asian Americans have taken this aspect of culture to be part of their own.

 Notice how on iTunes, there is music that are distinctly White, Black, and Latino.  Is there any Asian music?  No, unless you count World Music, and no one really listens to that. That is because to Asians, the other music is also their music.

Do Asians develop their own trademark slang? No, Asians appropriate the most popular slang from other cultures.

This is also why you see no Asian sitcoms on TV. Why have a sitcom about people of your own race when you can relate to “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Reba,” or, alternatively, “Girlfriends”?

And then, of course, there’s this blog.

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