"How to be Asian"

By: Midnight

To be Asian, one must undergo a very long and complicated procedure. You must realize first, though, that when the term "Asian" is used in this "How to", it refers to those who are of Southeast Asian descent. Becoming a Southern Asian would be a completely different process and would require other methods and instructions. This guide to being Asian isn't going to be a walk in the park, sister. No, siree. Becoming Asian is a difficult and grueling process, one which you must be completely willing to endure. Be prepared.

Becoming Asian relies heavily on your parents, especially during your early childhood. Your mom saves everything that she can. She buys products in bulk and stocks up in napkins to last you two years and a flood. Your mom buys cat food; "Half price!" she says. You don't have a cat. She always cuts your hair, because "hair-salon prices are just too high now a-days!" At least once in your life, you have had either miles of greasy bangs hanging in your eyes or a bowl haircut. Your dad is a mathematician/engineer/computer-anything. He always tells you to study that math and to keep a strong sense of heritage. Your dad also says that when he was young, he was happy just to receive new clothes once every year. He was overjoyed to go to school; he "walked 20 miles in the sweltering heat to get there everyday!" Your dad learned that math, and he was damn proud of it. Your parents don't let you date until you're twenty, and you've never been to a party without them in your life.

Your house smells like a mixture of soy sauce, herbs, and a thousand spices you couldn't possibly name. Eat rice with every meal and be able to pick up anything with chopsticks. Like marbles...or pennies. Don't eat anything without fish or soy sauce, and never order an individual plate in a restaurant. Instead, let the adults order for you and share with everyone at the table. When you leave, your parents take with them all the leftovers, including the single piece of chicken and spoon-full of fried rice. Chopsticks fill your drawers to the top, and used plastic forks and spoons are shoved into another. The cabinet under the sink is filled with used plastic grocery bags and sandwich baggies. "Bags are always useful to have!" your mom always says. When you open a container of yogurt, don't expect yogurt. Expect hot sauce. Or pickles. Cheese, even. Your parents save anything washable in order to store whatever leftovers are left on the table. Instead of tupper-ware, you have empty jelly, mustard, and hot sauce jars, empty tofu cartons, and empty rice containers.

Schooling is very important to you. Be smart. Go through your childhood as a quiet, mousy student who plays the piano like a job. Never leave your house. Stay inside with our books and desk, and study all night long. Wear thick glasses and make a small group of Asian friends. Study. Get straight A's. Apologize profusely when your parents scold you for the A- on your report card. Go to Math Club. Whatever you do, always study math the most out of all your subjects. Study.

When you get to high school, become even more worried about your grades. Cry when you receive an A on your Calculus exam-in freshman year. Continue playing piano for your 11th year and practice for four hours every day. Get upset when you have to miss one session of summer school to go on vacation in Hawaii. Give boys nasty looks when they try to be friendly. Be snobby. Convince yourself that everything your dad says is right, and being like everyone else is not important. Being smart is important.

Receive a 1580 on the SATs. Cry over it. Apply to the math department at Princeton, just like your parents said to. Get accepted. Party your life out when you get to college. You never knew so many varieties of alcohol existed! Meet someone with the same ethnicity and marry him. It doesn't matter who, but your parents always said to marry within your nationality.

Nationality and heritage are very important to being Asian. "Always remember where you are from," your elders say. Especially when they see you speaking to any non-Asian members of the opposite sex-American boys.

When someone asks if you're Chinese, give them an icy glare and explain to them in a haughty tone that there's more then one country in Asia. Accidentally spit out your native language at your friends when you are frustrated. Get excited whenever anyone mentions the Korean or Vietnamese Wars, or if you hear anything about rice or Buddha. Wear jade, even if you're not Buddhist. Laugh at non-Asians who call you a "chink", even though you're Filipino. Laugh when they don't know where the Philippines are. Make fun of people who try to impress you with their fabulous Chinese-"Ching chang chung kung-fu!" Tell them you're blown away, and ask them if they'd consider tutoring you in Chinese. Laugh when they say yes.

WELL! That's the end of it, folks. (I never finished at CTY) Midnight's wonderful guide to being Asian...now, I don't want to check my e-mail and find 30 messages from people who are pissed that I generalize about Asians. Understand, people: I'M ASIAN! So please, understand that this essay was written all in good fun, and not in the intention to injure the feelings of any party. Um, so, ok...thanks!

~Midnight~