I had Korean class today. Here’s one thing I learned today: nashiga ssassahada. It means “The weather is a bit chilly”. I don’t have the capacity to type hangul/Korean characters with this keyboard, but this new student today told me that I can download a software and get stickers to put on my keyboard. She knows because she has them.
There were only two students in attendance today (including myself) which was good because I felt like I learned more today than I usually do. The new student is a white high school girl who has been obsessed with all things Asia since she was little. She is learning an impressive six languages (and teaching herself – even more impressive). She is in love with the members of Super Junior and knows all of their drama (e.g., one member is going to leave to serve in the military. ZOMG what will the band do with just 12 members???!) which segues into her regularly plopping down to watch Korean dramas rather than Twilight or Harry Potter. She sports a panda bear backpack and has cell phone decorations that are ubiquitous in Korea.
My initial impression was that it was quirky that this girl wants to be Asian so badly. It’s more than a mere fascination with a foreign culture; it’s an obsessive lifestyle, according to her. Of course now I think it’s cool; all power to her to be resilient to the American molds and being just who she wants to be. It just led me to wonder if people initially thought “what is this Asian girl doing trying so hard to be white?” during my teen years. These circumstances are not the same thing but it just crossed my mind. I wonder if people (especially Koreans) scoff at the fact that I’m so Americanized. In my experiences, they don’t seem to be too thrilled about it. Oh well… can’t do anything to change it. I’ll never be Korean Korean which I learned this summer. I went to Korea thinking I’d somehow fit in but I was wrong. My outside fit in but my inside didn’t where as it’s the opposite here. It doesn’t bother me that much because I just belong to the world; I can find home and comfort no matter where I am in this world, but it it something most transnational adoptees experience at one time or another.
I’ll always be a “Twinkie” but now with some kimchi filled inside. It might not be a conventional snack but I’m not quite the conventional person (that’s an overstatement).