You know you are Chinese when…

Lately, I have been spending more time with my Chinese friends and family. I notice, as I grow older, I am relating more to my parents and understanding their culture, views  and mannerisms. It is amusing to hear my friends exchange stories about their up bringing.

For example, I do think it is okay to hit your kids. I was hit as a kid, and I turned out fine (see photo below, i am still smiling!). However, you just cannot leave any marks- the U.S. looks down upon that. I am only joking!!!

Growing up in Texas though, it was that much harder to fit in. My parents did not understand why it was important to blend in and fit with the American ways. I knew I was different when I sported a knock-off Hello Kitty backpack that said “Happy Day Advtures” on the first day of school. Fast forward to my high school senior prom, I asked my mother for some money to attend the prom and she gave me $50.00. I asked her if it was for hair and make up. She responded, “It is for everything,”.

Top 6 ways to tell that you are Chinese…

1. Your parents gave you the bowl hair cut, save money
2. Your father thinks he can fix everything himself to save money
3. You/ your parents reuse foil, gift wrap, Ziploc bags
4. You/ your parents grab extra napkins, ketchup, sugar and other condiments that are available at McDonald’s/ Starbucks etc.
5. You parents do not say “I love you” or show physical affection
6. You carry Asian guilt for not following through with _______ (I am always guilted into things, enter situation in the blank given)


Top 6 acceptable career choices for the Chinese

1. Own your own business (and you must be successful at it. No holidays open 365)
2. Become an accountant (or in the financial field i.e.: )
3. Become a doctor/ dentist (anything in the medical field that requires a Ph.d)
4. Become an engineer
5.Become a computer programmer or a tech/IT related position
6. An attorney

This post is not to offend any of my people, but just stating my experiences. To my family and friends, please share your stories! I know I am NOT alone! Many immigrant families all have similar stories about saving money to give their child a better life. I want to learn more! One of my favorite movies of all time is My Big Fat Greek Wedding- I could TOTALLY relate to that movie on so many levels! Another favorite is Joy Luck Club! I think if you mashed the two movies together the movie would be about my life and my future wedding!

11 thoughts on “You know you are Chinese when…

  1. Daniel says:

    i like how 4 out of the 5 ways you tell youre chinese are about saving money haha. and there write a movie script like big fat greek wedding and joy luck club. become rich and famous, boom goes the dynamite!! haha

  2. hawyn316 says:

    Too funny but true 🙂 Everything except for #5 on how to tell I’m Chinese applies to my experience 🙂

  3. Chris Ota says:

    Very funny yet educational post!

  4. Bixby Ho says:

    You know you’re chinese when you/your parents tell you marry this one, he/she is a keeper!

  5. Donald Aweau says:

    Wow! I agree, it’s not easy, on my part, I had to grow up with three different ethnicities and it wasn’t easy. My thing was . . you know you’re Hawaiian, Japanese and Chinese when . . . All had their stereotypes and I think experienced the good and bad of each. But I wouldn’t change anything for growing up in Hawai’i! It was just plain fun and no matter what your background, we all got along somehow. All my great memories have been here at home and hope for everyone too.

  6. arbine says:

    Okay so I’m mostly Filipino and only a smidgen of Chinese but I can totally relate to #’s 3, 4 and especially 6.

  7. LOL good post. I agree with the Top 6 ways to tell, but my family was different about career choices. My parents weren’t big fans of workaholism or stress, so career choice didn’t matter as long as you were happy. Seeing their kids turn into workaholics drew big “tsk tsks” from them. So I guess in that sense, I’m lucky. 🙂

    But in that sense, I have done my part as a true Chinese child and disappointed my parents! hahaha.

    I think it’s more acceptable now to be Chinesey. When I was growing up, I wanted so badly to be Japanese. I think I still do, but at least I’m OK with being Chinese now!

  8. Did you read the Tiger Mother book? I just finished it and I was laughing the whole way through, having lived with a Japanese mother who now I think was Chinese in disguise. But so many people were offended by it. Either way it was good reading.

  9. Linh Hoang says:

    I can totally relate! Did you know I have an accounting degree and my brother is an attorney? Hehe.

  10. neilyama says:

    My parents were a “little” different… they never hit or struck me or my bro… we turned out okay… but they had their own ways to get us to do things… Esp. when it came to being successful as kids. They knew we weren’t going to be the world’s best athletes… so they got us into music… I’m still playing my saxophone if you’re wondering (I’m not that good though) but they pushed us to become Eagle Scouts (both bro and I are) and when we did bad things, we’d get the “look of disdain” and the silent treatment for a couple days… I think that turned me into a very introspective person, it also probably made me a more overly sensitive person as well, which can be a major turnoff I suppose… My parents are awesome though! 🙂 Great post Jenn!!!

  11. Kayla Aboy says:

    Hi Jenn! A lot of what’s on your list applies to Filipino families as well. I was hit as a child as well & I turned out fine. 🙂

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