Search for
This Site
The Web

Get a free search
engine for your site

Tia Carrere
Margaret Cho
Church of Rhythm
James Hong
Bruce Lee
Jet Li
Keye Luke
Martial Law
Minoru Miki
Lea Salonga
George Takei
Tamilyn Tomita
Ming-Na Wen
Anna May Wong
Russell Wong

Business People
Community Leaders
Fashion Designers
Film Festivals
Television Shows

Click Here
to receive email
when this page changes
o Powered by NetMind o


"Over the mountains
There are mountains"

a look at asian pacific american literature
Written by Jessica Lim

Asian immigrant parents strive to make money to send their kids to go to good colleges and push them to become doctors, lawyers, and scholars. Their days are spent laboriously in many cases doing something that makes money. For them, working is not about mastering a skill or expanding ones knowledge on a certain subject, it is about making money without having to communicate in any other way than with numbers. These are the people who made a sacrifice to leave the familiarity of a land where they were part of the majority and come to America, tongue-tied and often equipped with nothing more than a mission to succeed, if not for themselves, then their success would be validated by their Asian American children who would become doctors, lawyers, and scholars.

Below exhibits the relationship, or rather an understanding that exists between the Asian immigrant who envisions this future for the next generation and the young, 'new' Asian American:

    "I had ready connections to him, of course. He knew I was Korean, or Korean American, though perhaps not exactly the same way he was. We were different stripes, like any two people, though taken together you might say that one was an outlaying version of the other. I think we both understood this from the beginning, and insofar as it was evident I suppose you could call ours a kind of romance, though I don't exactly know what he saw in me. Maybe a someone we Koreans were becoming, the latest brand of an American. That I was from the future (Lee, 138-89)".

Frank Chin's DONALD DUK

This relationship marks one of the four types of relationships eloquently depicted in Lee's novel, "The Native Speaker".

  • 1.Asian immigrant with Asian immigrant
  • 2.Asian immigrant with Asian American
  • 3.Asian American with Asian American
  • 4.Asian American with non-Asian/non-Asian American

The most complex of these relationships is the immigrant Asian's interactions with an Asian American. Besides the obvious problems that exist when language barriers come into play, there are far more complex issues that shall be looked at in greater depth. It seems that there is a lot of pride involved in the suiting of this relationship. The most obvious example of this relationship is the Asian parents who immigrate to the US and their relationship with their children who are either born in the US or come here at a very young age. The most obvious way to make a distinction between the two is by listening to their tongue. "We joked a little more, I thought like regular American men, faking, dipping, joking. I found myself listening to us. For despite how well he spoke, how perfectly he moved through the sounds of his words, I kept listening for the errant tone, the flag, the minor mistake that would tell of his original race" (Lee, 179).

The Asian Americans, whose familiarity exists in America, find themselves in a very peculiar situation. They do not necessarily disassociate themselves with Asian immigrants, especially if they are around the same age, but there is definitely a lack of complete understanding when compared with the commonality that an Asian American is able to share with another Asian American:

    "Simply, it felt good not having to explain so much to get across anything worthwhile. It's not like a flavor that you can offer and have someone simply taste. The problem, you realize, is that while you have been raised to speak quietly and little…the notions of where you come from and who you are need a maximal approach… (Lee, 182)".


A good way to understand the spirit, soul, vision, stories, dreams and goals of the Asian Pacific American communities is to listen to the words that they speak.

To satisfy your hunger and thirst for this information, review the words written in the various articles that covers a wide spectrum of subjects of great interest to their communities.

  • Diversity in the media
  • Asian American Female Fetish
  • Vision of PHilip Ahn
  • Murder of Vincent Chin
  • Kiana Tom's Success
  • What is a Hawaiian?
  • What is an APA Christian?
  • APA's views on diversity
  • Geisha - Pro or Con
  • Anatomy of a "Hate Crime"
  • Right or Wrong - "Mr. Wong"
  • Anatomy of a "Hate Crime"
  • Media Interracial Relationships
  • Effect of Pearl Harbor on APA's

    To learn more about the many prominent Asian Pacific Americans in the entertainment industry, sports, politicans, leaders that hold a high profile in the business world and other areas within the general public - click HERE.

  • Conversations between native Asians and Asian Americans tend to be either short, so as to avoid any unnecessary confusion or elongated, in order to clarify something that may be confusing. The parents in Asian cultures possess a strong sense of pride. They do not want their children to know when things are not going well. They have a reverence for respect and silence. In America however, we are taught that open communication is often the most successful way to create lasting and meaningful relationships.

    With these two varying ideas in mind it becomes easier to see that the Asian American is expected to understand and act accordingly for both. The problem or rather complexity involved is that the Asian American is able to respect and remain silent when appropriate, not because they actually find it useful or even respectful, but because they are able to acknowledge that their parents are used to another set of customs and that it is easier and less complicated for both parties to go by their rules. In another setting however, this Asian American is challenged to speak up when he/she finds something faulty. The intermingling of these two different ideals and the person who is forced to acknowledge both and to some extent camouflage into either world is the Asian American:

      "The summer before I started high school he made me go with him to one of the new stores…My father, thinking it would be good for business, urged me to show them how well I spoke English, to make a display of it, to casually recite "some Shakespeare words."

      I, his princely Hal. instead, and only part to spite him, I grunted my best Korean to the other men. I saw that if I just kept speaking the language of our work the customers didn't seem to see me. I wasn't there.

      They didn't look at me. I was a comely shadow who didn't threaten them. I could even catch a rich old woman whose tight strand of pearls pinched in the sags of her neck whispering to her friend right behind me, "Oriental Jews."…

    To continue with the article, click HERE

      Part 1: Learning the definition of being an immigrant
      Part 2: The many "layers" of being an immigrant
      Part 3: Immigrant Asian's interaction with an Asian American
      Part 4: Relationship between an Asian immigrant and another Asian immigrant
      Part 5: Relationship between an Asian American and an American
      Part 6: Info on what America is and what it can be

      Any questions regarding the content, contact Asian American Artistry
      site design by Asian American Artistry

      Copyright © 1996-2002 - Asian American Artistry - All Rights Reserved.
      Special thanks to Vision Software