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.
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