I don’t know why, but I feel compelled to describe my stance when it comes to why I want to take East Asian Languages and Cultures.
There’s a difference between me wanting to educate myself about different languages and cultures and me wanting to claim somebody else’s experience and identity as my own. I have always had a genuine interest in learning different languages and I thought it would be worthwhile to not only learn how to speak Chinese and Japanese, but also learn about their respective cultural traditions and beliefs (The program also includes Cinema, Art and Literature.)
However, in saying that, I do not expect that by getting a BA in this program means that I’m going to know EVERYTHING about being Asian because that would be foolish and ignorant.
To put it simply, I don’t want to be Asian. I’m proud of my First Nations heritage and I will always be. I would never want to change that part of myself. Just because I don’t wear dream catcher earrings – which I don’t have a problem with provided it’s not blatant cultural appropriation disguised under the term ‘trendy’ – doesn’t mean that I want to change my nationality. Besides, there’s only so much that University can really teach you and that you can soak in and learn from.
I also enjoy K-pop and visual media because it caters to my interests. I enjoy the beats and I also enjoy fan service. By listening to it incessantly or drowning in my own puddle of drool
everyday does not mean that I automatically identify as Korean. Once again, dumb and problematic and you need to STOOOP if you do.