Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:59:38 AM
Culturally confined by a single label, the name Asian means many things to different people but the stories are the same. The struggle between a child and their parents, the expectations of being the prodigy child, and the struggle to keep culture in a person that grows up thousands of miles away from it are the central ideas. I can relate to these problems as a daughter of an immigrant mother and the book, “The Joy Luck Club,” by Amy Tan summarizes these struggles as well.
There will be fights, miscommunications, and problems, but to let those come between a mother and her child is a petty thing. The strongest relationship in the world is between a mother and her son or daughter. My mother and I were raised differently in different environments and by different standards. As a result, we don’t always get along but we find ways to comprise. We try to understand our views on a subject and adjust our personal views so that our feelings turn out mutual. Something that brought my mother and me closer after reading the story was that I asked my mother to tell me her own life’s struggle and story. It gave me a completely different view on who my mom is and made me respect her even more.
Instilled into my mind at a young age, the idea of being successful was always there at the back of mind. It was my incentive, it was my goal, but it was my demise because I knew I could never be the kind of successful my mother wanted me to be. Just like Jing Mei and Waverly, the comparison of skills was like a game with the winner having more to brag about. Like Waverly’s chess championships, my best friend won awards at volleyball while I had nothing to show or at least nothing for my mother to show. In response, my mother pushed me to enter into the same top school as my best friend, only for me to be rejected and my best friend accepted. I learned then that comparisons are only ways to make a person feel inferior to someone else just as the idea of success should be decided by the person themselves and nobody else.
A person doesn’t need to be Chinese to understand this problem as it is something many people here in the United States go through. Assimilating to the American way of life and forgetting a person’s true culture. “You’re so American,” my mother always told me when I refused to eat certain types of Filipino food, and act a certain way. Becoming more aware of that, made me feel remorse for my way of life, but I can’t help it when I was born and raised in the United States. It does make me aware that I should take pride in where I come from and respect where my parents came from.