"Not That Korean" by Irene Park has caught my interest just by the simple title. She describes how being Korean has changed her entire perspective about her Korean culture. As an Asian myself, I completely understand what Park is trying to explain. Why do I need to fit these standards just because I'm Asian? Why do I have to be like every other Asian?
Being a fan of Korean culture, I initially didn't understand why Park wouldn't follow her own culture. However, I now see that she was really passionate about English literature. Every Asian child would understand the feeling when a relative or a close friend of your parents says a comment like, "A smart girl like you should be a doctor, not a kidergarten teacher." Stereotypes state that all Asians are smart, right?
Not necessarily true. Not all Asians get a job and not all Asians are accepted into college. Any parent would encourage their child to follow their dream career, like Park's parents did. My dream is also to be a teacher, just like Park. However, many would instantly give me a confused look and ask, "Oh, really? I thought you were going to become a doctor or lawyer."
I sincerely cheer for you, Irene Park. I hope you are now equally passionate for both English and Korean. I hope that you are comfortable with your parents and relatives now. After reading your story, I have also become a proud Chinese-American.