American Born Chinese
Wishing you and your loved ones a good
Chinese Year of the Boar: 4705!
Another Chinese New Year has arrived within my lifetime. Although, my family has become more liberal in how we celebrate the annual event, I am still a first generation Chinese-American born to immigrant parents of China. Therefore, the tradition and rituals continue, with minor variations (literally, minus the superstitious aspects of it)… and, unfortunately, I hardly receive any more lay sees (“red envelopes“) as I am aging… But, my memories of growing up Chinese in Chinatown, SF, U.S.A. still instills a certain pride – although, not a degraded level of pride to warrant the status as one of St. Thomas Aquinas’s famous sins.
Okay, as I am still in a “reminiscing about being Chinese” mood… this leads me to want to recommend, to those who can read, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese published by First Second. This book is a graphic novel that interweaves three stories – one about the Monkey King, another about an A.B.C. named Jin Wang, and a third one involving a character named Chin-Kee who embodies the worst of all Asian stereotypes – in which all exposes various aspects of growing up, well, Chinese in America.
I related to this work as I did with Michael Kang’s The Motel, in which there are moments below the surface of being Chinese where the human desire to be uniquely different, yet of the same species, in America that’s waiting to burst. Yes, I’m proud to be a Chinese/American. Heheh… check it out!
You can also find Gene Yang’s official site here.
Speaking of which, Michael gave me a shout out on his Xanga:
And in more related news… Jin has an album out in Cantonese, and his first single is “ABC” (Can you guess what that acronym stands for now?).
I’m not sure what I would make of the song, but I truly believe he’s still a pretty damn good lyricist compared to a lot of the crap that passes for hip-hop these days.