Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jade World TV: A Link to Asian America

Living in a small town in the Midwest, my family and I have always felt disconnected from the Asian American community. There are no Thai, nor dim sum restaurants in the city, and the nearest Chinatown would take seven hours to drive to. Asian Americans and Asian American popular culture are a rarity in my area. In fact, in the 2000 census, our town was only made up of 0.72% Asians. It was no wonder my parents had always felt alienated in this foreign land with a different language, culture, and entertainment.

Just a few years ago, this feeling of displacement slowly lifted. After hearing about a few channels that had recently been made available on their satellite dish, they immediately subscribed to them. The addition of Jade World TV has changed the lives of not only my parents, but also numerous other Asian Americans across the United States.

Jade World, or TVB USA, is a broadcast station in the United States that targets Asian Americans. The channel consists of mostly syndicated Hong Kong TVB dramas from the 1960s to today. Variety shows such as pageants or charity concerts are broadcast each weekend as well. There are also news broadcast featuring Chinese and American news stories. Most of the programs are played in Cantonese with a few Mandarin productions. Every aspect of these channels, down to the commercials, are either Asian American or Hong Kongese, providing a link to the Asian American community that so many are missing.

After having added the subscription to Jade World TV, my parents are no longer isolated in the Midwest. They can once again speak and hear their native language freely, watch shows that are funny or romantic in their eyes, and be updated on the latest trends in Asian and Asian American popular culture. Jade World TV has provided millions of Asian Americans with this same experience. Although these people may feel displaced in their respective locations, with these few channels, they can once again feel at home.

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