This class has taught me many things which I may have never learned had I not taken this course. Over the course of this class we have covered very diverse topics about Asian American women, immigration, sex, food, and the ideas of home, cultural hybridity, colonialism, diaspora, and feminism. I never imagined this course would be so informative. I have become more and more interested in the experience of the Asian American woman so I decided to talk to some of them to find out what they thought about their experiences in coming to America. I would like to share with the class some of the information I obtained because for me the experience was very enlightening.
I talked to four Asian American, Indonesian to be specific, women who have come to the United States. I will talk about their comments to me one at a time. This experience gave me a great outlook on the Asian American Women and their experiences as Americans. I was happily shocked to find that they all professed pride in being Asian American. Let me share some responses and some of my feelings.
My curiosity was peaked when I found that the first person I spoke to had to win a lottery to come to the United States. Her husband was Chinese and they were both Christian. In Indonesia this is a bad combination. She said they had to leave; she could have stayed but her husband and her children for their safety and well being needed to come to the United States. I was taken aback to hear this, I know that few countries have freedom, but when I heard her story it struck me how often I take for granted the freedoms which I have.
Here is another experience of an Asian American woman whom I talked with. She told me how it feels great to be an Asian American woman, it gives her great pride. She came here for her freedom, “America is a freedom country.” Her culture remains very important to her, and she will pass it on to her children. Her life has changed in only good ways since coming to the United States. One important aspect of Indonesian culture is the importance of elders. She professed having only gains in coming to the United States. But she is proud to have “learned independence.”
Another Asian American woman expressed to me that we work too hard in the United States. She told me how in Indonesia they do fun things and take vacations, “not just work all the time.” And here I thought we were a fun nation whose primary mission was to have fun and go on vacation. She also expressed no negative feelings in coming to or being in the United States.
The last and final lady I will talk about is also Asian American. She told me there are very big differences between our cultures. In Indonesia they are very strict in tradition, for them single women having kids, people living together, and premarital sex are, as she stated “odd for us.” Also, in Indonesia the parents always take care of the kids until they find a job, regardless of how old they are. She told me that the plight of the Indonesian Asian American comes from the population being ninety percent Muslim. If one is not Muslim they cannot get jobs so many of them come to the United States.
This conclusion has been brought to the class by good graces of the Asian American women whom I have the pleasure of working with. In watching them as a unit it is quite easy to become jealous of their kind ways toward each other. They work together, worry for one another, and always respect their elders. Thanks to the class for letting me share this experience, it has let me see that the experiences of Asian American women can be wonderful. I thought I would hear lots of talk about prejudice, or discrimination, but to my surprise I heard none. I am glad I had the opportunity to explore the minds of these wonderful women who let me get a glimpse of what it means to be an Asian American woman.