Asian Americans Chase The American Dream In Ancestral Countries

KCET recently reported that a trend of reversed immigration is undergoing in southern California. Many Americans are going overseas to find employment and pursue careers. In the video, it says about 3-6 million Americans are working overseas and a third of them are Asian Americans. The two examples they showed are both Asian Americans going back to the countries their parents emigrated from, and their careers are doing pretty well there.

I agree that Asia is a growing market, and this American economy, despite of the recovering myth that the media and the government told, is still pretty bad. Many second-generation Asian Americans have an understanding of the culture and language to the country they claim their ethnicity to, thanks to their Asian parents, so it does give them more leverage in finding good jobs in Asia. Plus, the background of being American and a native English speaker will certainly bring them more worship and admiration in Asia, which is still trying to copy the American model.

Back in China, I had a Chinese American friend who grew up in Los Angeles and went back to Beijing to teach English. My friend, an American who looks Chinese and speaks fluent Chinese, obviously have many more opportunities than a Chinese person who speaks fluent English or an American who only speaks English. He was higher paid, better treated, and more popular among students, especially Chinese female students.

On the other hand, my White American friend who also taught English in China, though popular, could never enjoy that level of intimacy and hospitality that my Chinese American friend received, because the Chinese American can welcome people with their native tongue, especially those who don’t speak good English.

The downside is, as the video points out, Asian Americans are still Americans. Even if you look the same as other Asians in Asia, they will hardly consider you are part of them. To them, you are still American. To you, you still experience culture shock. Growing up, you probably eat more burgers than rice. Though you call yourself Asian, to them and to you, you are not Chinese, or Korean or Japanese or Vietnamese.

If you can overcome the culture shock though, Asian money is certainly quite lucrative these days.

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About Shako Liu

Shako Liu is a multi-media journalist in Los Angeles. She gained her master's degree in journalism at University of Southern California.
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