OK, this video is funny! Do you think it's deliberate that the white family doing Korean is mixing it up with Japanese and Chinese and who knows what-all fungible-Asian stereotypes? Or do you think the writers don't have a clue either?!
And it's also a good pair with this article, What's My Heritage? International Adoptions and the Culture Debate, from Brain,Child:
For an English speaker, “win” approximates Nguyen, one of the most common yet
elusive of Vietnamese names. Maybe Nick thinks we’ve cracked a secret code. He
told me recently that Nguyen Thanh Hiep is his true name.
At these moments, I’m sure my husband Rob and I are doing something right. Like many international-adoptive parents, we work hard to incorporate our son’s birth culture into our lives. For years, we’ve followed the formula for what’s sometimes called “culture keeping”: celebrating the main holidays from Nick’s birth culture; buying ethnic artwork, clothing, or food; spending time with other international adoptive families, perhaps going to a “culture camp” for a few days each summer.
Some would say I take it to extremes. I enrolled in a Vietnamese language class the year before Nick’s adoption in 2002. Last fall, I signed up for another course that meets five days a week. At the same time, I found a Vietnamese tutor for Nick.
In December, Rob and I took Nick on a trip to Vietnam, his first visit back to his birth country. But just weeks before we left, we found ourselves with a child melting down, who was terrified we’d leave him there, afraid we’d be disappointed if he didn’t like it. “I don’t want to go to Vietnam!” he howled. “I don’t want to go to Vietnam! I…don’t…want…to…go…to Vi-et-nam!”
It was then that I thought maybe I’d gone too far. Was I doing this more for myself than for Nick?
I know the caveats. He was too young; it’s normal for a first grader to be contrary. All true, and he often infuriated me in Vietnam. I was proud when he told people his name in Vietnamese, but I never felt at ease. We were on public display more than in any American hospital hallway. I worried for my boy when saleswomen fussed over the long rattail in his hair, fingering it, saying he was “lucky.” I kept wanting to hug his tense little face against my chest.
Since our trip, I’ve talked to people inside the adoption community and out: other parents, adoptees, social scientists, Vietnamese Americans. Going overboard can be worse than doing nothing at all, so I wonder and fret: How much should I push cultural activities onto my son? How much of his birth culture is it healthy for him to keep as he grows—and how much is confusing or harmful, a kitschy pastiche that will leave him permanently unmoored?
Can you say "balance," anyone?!