Hip to be Asian American?


It’s Hip to be Asian in the US by Elizabeth Lee of Voice of America, argues that there is a new coolness in being Asian.

I have noticed it too. Asian America isn’t as much on the fringes (of popular culture) as it was when I was younger. It has become much more part of society in general. One great example of this is boba tea.

In the early 90s, I had to go to hole in the wall Taiwanese places in the middle of the San Gabriel Valley to get boba. Now they are everywhere. I remember the first time I saw a non-Asian person drinking boba on the street, I almost crashed my car.

Now everyone drinks it. Asians and non-Asians alike.

I thought boba was just a fad, like frozen yogurt or those nasty tiny ice cream balls that they have at the mall. But it’s been around for more than a decade and I believe it’s safe to say it’s here to stay.

According to the article, boba means more to Asian Americans than just a place to drink some (un)healthy tea. “Boba cafes have become a symbol of a cultural shift among Americanized Asians. They’re still in touch with their ethnic roots but also take pride in being uniquely Asian American.”

On a personal note, the article does have it right. When I’m going to have a long talk with friends, I don’t go to Starbucks but the local boba tea house!

Two words for everyone: Boba Life.

I know Asian America is more than just boba. However, it’s just a small microcosm of how things have changed. And I believe this is just the beginning.

Follow me on Twitter @ksakai1

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About Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.
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