You know you’re Asian when…

OK, I’m definitely Asian, but raised in New Zealand with mostly Kiwi influences – against my parents’ wishes of course. And now I’m married to a Kiwi and with two little half-lings. So in case I forget my roots, here’s my list (a cut-down list) of ways to tell you’re Asian:

  1. Your name is hard to pronounce. If it’s been Westernised then it’s hard for your relatives to pronounce.
  2. You know people whose kids all have names starting with the same letter, or they rhyme.
  3. One of your friends or relatives is called Andy.
  4. You know to leave your shoes at the front door. Why shoes don’t get stolen more often I don’t know.
  5. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be the same dish. Often something preserved.
  6. You don’t waste meat. Chicken feet, fish heads, fish eyes, pig everything, and so on.
  7. Relatives don’t have a problem with asking how much you earn, and then saying their kid earns more.
  8. The only acceptable occupations are doctor, lawyer, business owner, or a ‘nice job at a desk in a bank’. (I tried explaining what a programmer was to my parents and that didn’t get anywhere .)
  9. Your parents expect you to marry another Asian, preferably someone they choose, and preferably a doctor.
  10. Being called fat is meant as a compliment.
  11. All babies look like their fathers. If you say otherwise then you’re implying the mother was unfaithful.
  12. “Have you eaten yet?” is part of a greeting.
  13. People don’t RSVP to things like weddings. They just turn up. With four kids.
  14. You can predict the dishes at wedding receptions. If they don’t have lobster, there’ll be trouble.
  15. Your mum has a short perm.
  16. Your mum enters a death match to see who gets to pay for yum cha. Maybe short perms makes for harder hair-pulling.
  17. You’re expected to take oranges and Evian when visiting sick relatives.
  18. You don’t expect a reward for doing well at school. Instead your parents ask why others are doing better than you.
  19. Your dad covers his car to protect it. While it’s in the garage. (OK, this is probably just my dad.)
  20. You know what pork floss is.
Kids in Vietnam

Oh, and your parents take photos of you holding onto plants

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