Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My America or Honk, If you Love Buddha

Renee Tajima-Pena, in her quest to find out what it means to be Asian-American in her film, My America or Honk, If You Love Buddha, shows the viewers that being Asian-American is just like being any other American.  Asian-Americans in the movie did not fit one stereotypic model, but like all other Americans, differed with each other depending on circumstances such as class, gender, education, immigration, and probably most importantly, region.  As different as the rednecks from the South are from the Hippies in the West, were the Korean-American rappers from Seattle to the eighth-generation New Orleans Burtanog sisters, Filipinos that considered themselves white.  Their history, generation, and regions shaped who they are.  It seems that the the struggle to find a cultural identity and to be an American that many of the Asians seemed to go through in the movie is one that may only pass with time.  The Louisianan Filipino women seemed to have the greatest sense of who they were in America because their families had been in the U.S. so long.  Because most Asians in America are relatively recent immigrants, they will inevitably encounter questions from others and themselves about how they fit in the melting pot country that they are in.  And although Asian-Americans, along with African-Americans, Latino-Americans, and other Americans may always be compared to each other like in the radio commenting on the mental, sexual, and reproductive capabilities of Asians in comparison to other races, people will realize that the recognition of differences does not necessarily separate Asian-Americans from other Americans, but reinforces the notion that America is a melting pot nation and that Asian-Americans contribute to what makes the country America.

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