When I first signed up for this course, I was not quite sure what it would offer me. I was aware that I was taking another English course and more than likely I would be doing tons of writing, but I never thought that I would take from Eng. 217 what I have. Finding out that the course title was Asian American Women I was kind of excited, 1. because I knew absolutely nothing about Asian American Authors and 2. because my boyfriend's mother is Korean and moved to the United States about 30 years ago. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about Asian American women in general and my future mother-in-law's culture as well.
I decided to write my final project on the Assimilation of Asian women into the United States with the increase in military brides. I took my boyfriend's mother's story and turned my paper into a narrative of her life. I was amazed by how many women from Asian countries chose to marry US soldiers and move to the USA during the 1970s until the 1990s. Mi Hi Hong came to the United States from Seoul, Korea. She went from being apart of a weathly family to living in a trailor park in Arizona. She had a huge culture shock. In order to 'fit in' better after her US arrival, Mi Hi's mother-in-law encouraged her to change her name to Mia in order for her assimilation to be easier. My own family had to change our last name when arriving to the United States at Eliis Island, but it boggles my mind that a mother-in-law would encourage a name change rather than a courty's immigration office. Throughout our class readings and talking to Mia, I see how accurate the authors we read were. Every story had a meaning and a purpose and I have seen so many relations to Mia in almost every single book. I have found the most relations were in Suki Kim's novel with Suzy's father force feeding Grace because Mia often forces me and all of her children to eat more because she says that she does not want us to disrespect her.
I am aware that there are quite a few people that can relate to the novels in a much more personal way with being Asian and coming from Hawaii, but I have grown a great appreciation for Mia and her culture as well as the other cultures we discussed throughout this past semester! Thank you Priya!!!