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PARK | Subtle Asian Traits

When I was in elementary school, my mom tried to pack me Korean food for lunch. The ensuing judgemental glances and whispers about my “stinky food” in the cafeteria prompted me to march home and shut that down. From then on, I brought white lunches to school and ate Korean dinners at home. Growing up Asian in a primarily white town, I was surrounded by people whose understanding of my culture was limited to math, tiger parents and Kim Jong-il. In order to fit in, I suppressed the parts of my identity that made me different and I never really gave it much thought until joining a Facebook group called Subtle Asian Traits.

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CHANG | Increase Asian-American Power in Politics Through Dialogue

2018 was a uniquely momentous year in Asian-American politics. For the first time in a long time, it felt like Asian-Americans were being elected outside of California. In New Jersey’s third congressional district, for example, Democrat and former Obama staffer Andy Kim won over long-time incumbent Tom MacArthur, who engineered the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and is closely aligned with President Trump. Republican Young Kim was poised to be the first Korean-American women in Congress, although the race was just called on Saturday for Democrat Gil Cisneros. Certainly, neither of these examples speak to a paradigmatic shift in the representation or enthusiasm of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in politics.

Members of the Chinese Students Association serve dumplings to attendees of the Midnight Dim Sum event Saturday night.

Midnight Dim Sum Gives Taste of Asian Culture

Dim sum is conventionally enjoyed as an open brunch during the day, but at the Midnight Dim Sum in Duffield on Saturday, busy Cornellians got to have a taste of both the traditional Chinese dishes and Chinese culture.

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WANG | Indistinguishable Asians

A few months ago in the spring, I had a sit-down with a charming professor about a homework problem I was stuck on, and while the chat was productive, it soon devolved into tiptoeing around a racial issue that, frankly, has worn a bit thin on me. When I told her I was Chinese, she inevitably started talked about her experience traveling abroad in mainland China, and while her eyes glowed when she talked about the sights she saw, her mouth began to twitch uncomfortably when she descended from the sights to the people. And word for word, before she began, I knew what she was going to say. It isn’t a secret in the Chinese American community that there is a certain disdain for their peers from abroad. Whether it’s true or not, nationals are regarded as louder, less behaved and generally less suited for assimilation in America.

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JEONG | Bursting the Asian Bubble Myth

Over the weekend, Cornell hosted the East Coast Asian American Student Union conference — the largest Asian American conference in the East Coast. Overall, it was a notable weekend: Asian Tinder was absolutely on fire, Duffield radiated with the smell of food from the homeland and Buzzfeed’s sweetheart Steven Lim graced campus with his wholesome presence. It was inspiring and uplifting to see so many Asian American students from all over the country discuss ever-relevant issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. During my freshman year, Eddie Huang of VICE Munchies and Fresh Off the Boat fame came to Cornell to talk about food, media and everything Asian American. Unabashed in his opinions on racial politics and embraced by viewers of all colors, he represented what I believed to be the best of what a new generation of Asian Americans has to offer.

Annika Pinch / Sun Contributor

Basking in Bento Boxes

I didn’t have a bad experience at any of these establishments and would happily return to any of them. If you want to go out to a Japanese dinner with a big group of friends, Sumo is your place. If you want a relaxed and very efficient dinner, make your way downtown to Asia Cuisine. And if you’re on campus and want a great meal, make your way to Collegetown to Plum Tree.