My Banana Story Analysis

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“My Banana Story” - An Identity Crisis Story In the U.S, most American kids grow up hearing that “college will be the best time of their lives.” It is true for many students - the typical college experience is one of new opportunity, self discovery, community and much more. However for Asian Americans, it is not uncommon for a student to be bombarded with pressures, stress and for some depression. Instead of a time of new opportunity, they are faced with having to fit into the career and life path that their parents have chosen for them. They battle with stereotypes and discrimination that try to tell them who they are supposed to be. Many of them hesitate to find a support system; because their parents told them to be strong and independant,…show more content…
One of them is Alex Wen, a graduate of University of Illinois who created My Banana Story, an internet site which “brings awareness to Asian Americans who have felt alienated, bullied or suffered from social anxiety while assimilating to American culture and society” (Castillo 2015). Members post their own stories of struggling with their identity growing up, and post pictures of themselves holding a banana to their head, like a gun. “This idea was to pose in a way where we’re committing suicide...because (My Banana Story) is this idea of killing your own identity in order to conform” (Castillo 2015). What this site offers is awareness, a platform where students can express themselves and at the same time find others who have gone through similar struggles. Being aware that feeling alone and confused is normal and feeling free to talk about their problems is crucial for students who have gone through these experiences. My Banana Story also tells students to have pride for their background, which is something uncommon for people of asian descent to…show more content…
For example, many Asian Americans are under the impression that they are supposed to somehow pick between their “Asian” heritage or “American heritage.” I myself felt this tension growing up in an Asian household while attending school with white American students. My mom wanted me to learn about my Asian heritage, make Asian friends and marry an Asian man. At the same time, especially in college, I wanted to experience more of the white American lifestyle. I rushed a sorority, ate white American food, and tried to make white American friends. But it almost felt like I was betraying my family just by experiencing the white American culture. Matthew Hom, the director of media of Paradox relates: “Racial slurs, death threats, and getting spit at was not what I was expecting from high school when I first entered during my freshmen year. After getting off at my bus stop, another student calls me a word I won’t write on here. But I respond rather passively, trying not to escalate the situation. However, he shoves me and calls me a ‘dirty chink’ so I respond with some expletives. He goes on calling me more offensive and racial words, the usual targeted racial stereotypes like you smell gross because of your food, your eyes are too small, you

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