The Asian Sensation

I was going through my usual readings this morning, and I happened upon this article on, The Economist (Yes, I know what you are thinking). It’s about an Asian guy, specifically a Vietnamese orphan, who was adopted by a German couple. He climbed the ranks (like all the way to being the country’s current Vice-Chancellor) of the German political ladder, and made quite a name for himself in German politics, albeit the Asian face. Recently, with the German elections coming up, a big deal has been made about him being of Asian decent, despite the fact that he seems to be good at what he does(depending on who you are of course). Now, I know a successful Asian politician wouldn’t be a big deal in say China or Japan(funny, haha). But why is it a big deal when an Asian face succeeds else where in venues like politics and sports? Two things I like, by the way, cause politics is a sport and sports is full of politics.

I can remember the hoopla that was had when Yao Ming actually scored in double digits in more than 2-3 games and when Jeremy Lin had his two hours of fame. But hasn’t everyone seen the Chinese basketball in a few of the Olympics and World Championships before? I can also remember when I was in grade school and I made whatever basketball or track team I joined the “international team” because ours would be the only team with an Asian person on it (those were some funny days). But that was here in America, cause we make a big deal about everything.

So, I was surprised to know that it happens elsewhere as well, and in politics nonetheless, cause anyone can be awesome in politics, right? So, what is the big deal? I’ll tell you, NOTHING! Jeremy Lin is American and Philipp Rösler is German, their eyes are just a bit slanted than yours, skin might be a shade paler, and the nose bridge might be, and I say might, cause mine is, a little flatter than yours, but that is about it. I know there are bigger issues around this but seriously, at the end of the day, they are just people achieving in areas that are traditionally not ruled by Asians, like say science or math(funny, haha). And I’m sure the same argument can be made for other races, but I am Asian, so I picked that race. I’m just glad that my kids won’t have to deal with this(cross fingers and yea right). They are half Asian, but they do not look it for the most part, instead they will get to deal with a whole other plethora of issues that comes with being half African-American or worse both, especially, middle baby. Yay.

See, proof: Here is a very Asian and 13-year old me in my high school basketball outfit, what’s so weird about that?

Enjoy your Weekend!


6 thoughts on “The Asian Sensation

  1. Well I’m not really surprised that Germans make a big deal about a person’s heritage. Cause I mean, Germany. lol.
    But things are becoming so mixed across all facets of life that eventually it won’t matter. Maybe.

    • Janis Gabriel says:

      : I know, and I’m not surprised either. I just thought it was interesting that this was a main point of interest during their elections. And yes, everything is becoming all mixed up, but I think that it will always matter and be a big deal. SIGH.

  2. Paris says:

    This was a great post! More like these please. Read it via my phone so idk if you did include one, but a critique would be to have a reference link to the original article regarding the issue. Another thing I’d like to just mention is I think by changing the diction we use regarding this “issue” will have a significant effect: I would refer to these issues as issues of ethnicity & culture, not of race. I think this is actually the proper term. There is really only one race: the human race. I think if people actually start thinking of things in those terms, we can change our perspectives on the situation almost entirely.
    “We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.”
    By all means, it won’t solve all the problems to these racial issues, but I think it could have a significant affect to how we think about these matters & how we approach them. Words are powerful.

    • Janis Gabriel says:

      : Thank you! And thank you for your well drawn out reply. I completely agree with you that if we see each other as one race that all of the triviality of ethnic and cultural differences would not exist. However, I think that it has been engrained in everyone to identify differences in the human race. As is the case in this post, even I made the
      mistake of labeling this issue as racial rather than your correct term of ethnic/cultural issues because we are so used to referring to these issues as racial. I too one day hope that issues like this can be ignored by simply using proper diction, however, I think that such an issue is far too long standing to be remedied by words, powerful as they may be.

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