Issue Three: Embracing
I didn’t use to embrace being Asian as much as I do now. It took 17 years for me to realise why being Asian was something to be proud of.
Living in New Zealand and being around so many European people, it was easy to conform to the same ideals as them. In intermediate, I experienced my down-fall and disconnection for the culture. This was when I brought my favourite meal to school, my mum's Sweet Corn soup! However, when a girl told me that it looked 'disgusting', all I wanted for lunch was sandwiches - plain old sandwiches. Further along in college, when friends told me “you’re the whitest Asian girl I know,” it made me feel a sense of achievement, like finally, I was being accepted. Only this year did I realise that this conformity disadvantaged me more than anything else.
Through acting, I was given the opportunity to express myself in a way that allowed me to contribute my culture and stories to a society hungry for something new. I realised that New Zealand may not be perfect, but it will acknowledge their need for innovation and diversity.
Being an Asian girl gives me a chance to go against what everyone expects us to be; shy, submissive, conservative. Being an Asian girl and exuding confidence, creativity and drive helps introduce a new type of Asian girl to society, one that they don’t know. One that exist beyond their monochrome lens’.
Being Asian contributes towards my drive to act. I can acknowledge that what some people expect of me is not what I will become, and that society does not dictate my limits.