June 30, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakstan: Blogs - Kazakstan: Asian American Issues: Minority Volunteers: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer Jay Chen in Kazakstan

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : The Peace Corps in Kazakstan: June 30, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakstan: Blogs - Kazakstan: Asian American Issues: Minority Volunteers: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer Jay Chen in Kazakstan

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Peace Corps Volunteer Jay Chen in Kazakstan: On Ethnicity

Peace Corps Volunteer Jay Chen in Kazakstan: On Ethnicity

"In many ways, sometimes I feel that Ive been too sheltered though in America Im considered a minority, almost all of the places Ive lived I was the majority at CHS, where 90% of the student body was Asian, and at Berkeley where close to 50% was Asian. Intellectually, I realized that I was in the minority, but I had never felt it until I joined the Peace Corps, being that I was one of the three Asians in the group of 48."

Peace Corps Volunteer Jay Chen in Kazakstan: On Ethnicity

6.30.2005
On Ethnicity


Yen is one of the Uzbekers who came to join our group after the evac there here were doing the classic Chinese picture pose after the concert. Like most of the wonderful people here in our group, shes just as beautiful and pretty on the inside (brilliant, I should say) as she is on the outside. Our friendship is particularly valuable here in this case because were the two of the three Asian-Americans here in this particular group the fact that shes Chinese was a particularly welcome feature since we can have plenty of intelligent conversations about Chinese culture as well.

In many ways, sometimes I feel that Ive been too sheltered though in America Im considered a minority, almost all of the places Ive lived I was the majority at CHS, where 90% of the student body was Asian, and at Berkeley where close to 50% was Asian. Intellectually, I realized that I was in the minority, but I had never felt it until I joined the Peace Corps, being that I was one of the three Asians in the group of 48.

Seeing Yens face in many ways a relief to me, because who else can I talk about asian familial culture with, who knows what kind of Chinese foods are real Chinese foods and which arent, who has enjoyed the same culture and language that I enjoyed?

Yet, joining the group, working and having fun with everyone has largely made me realize that my active, constant thoughts about my ethnicity were essentially misplaced most people dont care what your background is its about who you are as a person that matters. I feel that most of the people around me are genuine, intelligent and open people that share a connection, despite the lack of a similar ethnic background.






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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kazakstan; Blogs - Kazakstan; Asian American Issues; Minority Volunteers

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