Being Asian myself, I have experience and seen many of the struggles we face when we first migrate to the United States. From difference in the way we speak, getting used to the food, and getting over homesickness, and many other cultural and ideological differences between the east and west, we delve in to the adjustments many Asians face when migrating. Some of you fellow Asians out there might say “what the hell is this guy talking about” if so, you either came here young enough to adjust easily or was born here, to actually know the full gravity of how this feels you will need to be someone who enjoyed life enough back in the old country before coming here. So here are a few things that I and some of my friends experience when first getting here.
Food is like the first thing you need to adjust to when first getting here, sure now there are a lot of markets that offer Asian ingredients, but you can’t exactly go home to eat or look for an Asian restaurant every time. So you have to get used to western food, which at first you really enjoy, because back home it was something you enjoy once in a while which made it a bit special, but after some time you start to crave for the food you grew up with. But again after some time you get used to it and you continue on living your life, and somehow it becomes a bit reversed the food from your home country becomes that special thing you get only once in a while.
Another thing is respect to elders and teachers. I am not saying that Americans are rude to their elders and teachers, the culture is just incredibly different. Most Asian countries are very respectful to anyone above them, by age, rank, or anything of the like, having specific honorifics for elders and such, and a clear line is drawn. But here that line is almost nonexistent, or at least in our eyes. Though we later on see that you have your own way, some sort of mutual understanding, and we get used to doing the same thing ourselves. But if you are Asian and you will be visiting Asia sometime soon, be sure to follow the whole honorifics and respect of the country or you might be seen in a very negative light. (And I am sugarcoating it, you don’t want your Asian grandmother to tell you to fetch her a stick)
Funny enough though, when you are young the whole racism thing, though still present, is quite rare. Sure you might still get targeted for bullying, but most of the time it’s equally the same as anyone else, if you handle it properly it won’t really be a problem, if it does get a bit problematic though don’t be afraid to seek help.
There are a lot of things that you experience your first few years away from the home and culture you are used to, but as always people adapt. The struggle is real, but often times these things are just minor stuff, remember that old saying “When in Rome…”