Written by Andrea Sison
Because of the lack of representation of Asians in the media people tend to use stereotypes instead. Being a teen is all about exploring and learning about yourself. Having clubs in high school that are associated with representing and explaining Asian cultures could be a big help to Asian American students. This gives them a community of people of the same age that may share common interests. This would help them build a relationship not only with the people but also the culture. This is where they could freely explore their identity and share the experience with others. Clubs like these are also a great way to learn about different cultures as one can be exposed to not only one but many cultures. This could include learning through traditions, foods, or even through people.
Being a part of various cultural clubs can help shape our identity. I see this as an outlet for teens. I think having a community outside of school is really good as we can learn from someone older or be someone who can teach the young. At the same time having a community of people of the same age is a good balance of that interaction. We can relate to each other and we can learn from one another. This could be a place where we could be less formal and really freely express ourselves and discover.
Having clubs like these also help promote the Asian community. We hold festivals, meetings, or watch parties that are associated with the Asian culture. We also share our culture through food and other activities. This could help bring recognition in school and in our community. This could help teens be more confident in sharing themselves. This also brings many opportunities to us to help spread our cultures with others and build new perspectives about Asians. This is something that could help us break the stereotypes that has been established. This helps us prove that we are more than what people believe in. That the stereotypes they use do not define us and should not be what people would use when they first see us. Asian clubs are also fun learning environments. We get to discover new things through various activities, not just by reading and listening to someone. We get to learn through games, movies, or other social activities.
For me, being in an Asian club both in school and out of school has been a fun way to discover a new community. This allowed me to interact with many teens that I can relate with. This is a super fun way to learn about other cultures because I get to share the experience with my new found friends. Being in an Asian club also helped me express myself more, it helped me realize what I stand for. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment whenever I get to volunteer at activities that lead to the spread of culture. I feel very happy sharing my culture and others’ culture to as many people as we can. I also feel like this is a way for me to contribute in educating and spreading awareness of the Asian community.