Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Awakening of a Korean Wannabe

This blog post isn't a review or recap of anything, but more of the identity crisis I must get off my chest and rant and my life story, all wrapped into one post.

I must be the most oblivious person ever.  Everyone else around me can blatantly see it, everyone but me (this reminds me of that One Direction song...).  It wasn't until two hours ago my friend was mentioning Korean wannabes (not that I was one, but someone else), and that got me thinking of how I was close to that stage of my obsession.  I even looked up the definitions of 'Korean Wannabe' and 'Kimchi Korean' on Urban Dictionary, and that confirmed it for me my revelation.

But let me explain myself, starting at the beginning.  I am a Chinese American who learned Cantonese as my first language, but lost a lot of my 'native' tongue as I got older.  I used to be so proud of being bilingual, but now I am incompetent at communicating in Cantonese with others outside of my family.  I might sound 'banana,' but I try not to be.  I love all Chinese food and the holidays that we celebrate and the family values.  But it's hard mixing my Chinese and American cultures together.

I attended a very small kindergarten through 12th grade school that was predominantly white.  School had a much larger influence on my life than my family, and soon I was obsessed with the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan and Disney Channel.  But it wasn't until just before 10th grade that I had found my true interest in Asian pop culture (refer to my first post, 'Introduction').  That same summer I had started watching Hong Kong films like Echoes of the Rainbow and Bruce Lee, My Brother, two of my most favorite movies ever, and listening to music by Aarif Lee (who starred in both those films).  Soon after I watched my first Korean drama and loved how many of these movies and dramas had such meaningful story lines (I'm referring more so to the Hong Kong movies) and how the relationships were much deeper than what I interpret from American pop culture.  From 10th grade onward, I had been shutting out all of the American media, because I hated the messages they portrayed.

But I never realized just how bad my obsession became, not even after naming my blog 'My Seoul Obsession' or when writing my post 'Disclaimer About My Blog,' or even when I told myself that I wanted to  speak Korean and eat Korean dishes and whatnot.  There are some who fully label themselves as Korean wannabes, but I could never mask and be ashamed of my real identity as a Chinese American.  From here on out, I will take my interest in moderation and continue to embrace my own true identity.  There is so much psychoanalysis I could do with this, such as how maybe because I was losing my Cantonese heritage that I wanted to start over with another Asian culture, or how constantly being surrounded by Caucasians for 13 years drove me to such extremes.

This entire 'Korean Wannabe' thing is something I don't want to be labeled as and was probably the underlying reason why I was so iffy on creating this blog.  I would never want to be considered a poser, and to even consider thinking and wishing of myself as Korean is ridiculous (like some do); how could I just shun my own culture like that?  The bottom line is, I'm just interested in knowing more and being exposed to other cultures.

Thank you for reading this entire post, if you did.  I was so stressed about all of this and had to put it all down into a post.  I've written essays about this too for high school and college applications, and now finally onto my blog just for the sake of getting it all out.

Thank you once again for reading, or skimming, or even glimpsing at this post!

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