April 15, 2013

A good friend of mine says that reading my painful blog posts about childhood traumas and cultural issues is only bearable when I’m funny. Agreed! Humor goes a long way in sharing the truth effectively and then, growing from the experience.

The tricky part here is that looking in the mirror can be tough. But lately, that’s gotten easier as I’ve discovered a new type of mirror: Great online videos. With that in mind, the computer screen you’re eyeballing right now might make a pretty good tool for self-reflection…

There’s nothing like getting grounded in reality and context to reach a clearer perspective. For that, I thank fellow blogger Gil Asakawa. Gil posted the following TED video featuring journalist Jennifer 8. Lee.

Without him, I never would’ve found this fascinating segment about Chinese food in America — which is super-popular, but not very Chinese. After watching it, you’ll never, ever, ever feel the same about Chinese restaurants again.

The clip is a stand-out because it shows how facts can help power a thoughtful discussion. (Here’s a direct link if you have trouble viewing the video below.)

Of course, to complete this reflective moment, we absolutely must share some laughs about obnoxious tiger parents. For this, I thank Ivan Pereira, one of my still-young former students. He’s part of “American Dad’s” huge, 20-something fan base. If not for him, I would’ve never have caught this episode.

The episode was available to the public on for a while but now you have to be a subscriber to view it. Here’s the direct link. If you missed it, just let me say that the segment did a great job at making fun of the tiger mom stereotype, which apparently has now gone totally mainstream!

Just think — millions of people tuned into both this tiger mom episode, while hundreds of thousands of folks viewed the Chinese food video. These are signs of the universal appeal to the personal themes that I struggle with.

My guess is some of you can also relate, no matter what race, ethnicity or angst. This assures me of another important reality…

I am not alone.

And neither are you.

So grasshoppers, maybe we can go forth with our collective pain…and lighten up.  :)



P.S. — If you like this post, you might also enjoy the hilarious videos about sh*t Asian parents say, which are embedded on this earlier post on my blog: “Laughing at Asian Parents — of course, this isn’t me!” There is also my all-time most popular post: “Parents like Amy Chua are the reason Asian Americans like me are in therapy.”