Asian culture has been a part of my life since I was born; Being Asian myself, how could it not be? However, I had very little interest in it when I was younger. When my mother would take me to practicing Buddhist temples, I would sit on a chair and play with my brother while she knelt and prayed for good luck and good fortune. As for my father, I made only a small attempt to communicate with him, much less to learn Vietnamese.
I didn’t care or notice anything about Asia with the exception of the food (rice was, and still is, a necessary staple in my life.) Asian culture had never crossed my mind. There were times when I wanted to be an astronaut, a paleontologist, a web designer, a psychologist and a doctor, but I hadn’t had much experience with cultures outside of American culture.
It wasn’t until high school when I caught wind of Asian pop culture and the languages that accompanied it that I finally became interested in Asian studies. Pop culture has always attracted me, but I’d never thought of foreign pop culture. From then on, from studying Japanese to visiting Japan itself, I had finally immersed myself in a culture that I became surprisingly comfortable with, despite my disinterest in the past.
This introduction essentially laid the groundwork for me, one of my majors and for this blog: Jenny Ung (a freshman at ASU), East Asian studies, and “Made in Asia.” My other major is journalism; After throwing away the ideas of becoming an astronaut, paleontologist, web designer, psychologist, doctor, I settled on writing. I want to combine my two interests and become a foreign correspondent (or possibly a foreign diplomat) in Asia someday.
This blog will focus first and foremost on Asia, be it through culture, history, places or food. Since my major does specify East, I’ll be focusing on Japan, China and Korea. I will also be talking about other Asian countries as I’m currently very interested in Southeast Asia. Some topics that may pop up will be purikura (Japanese photo booths), Singlish (Singaporean English), Asian fast food, social networks, traditional clothing, fashion, etc. If there’s anything else that you’d like to see, feel free to suggest it to me via email!
As for more information about myself, I am one-fourth Chinese, one-fourth Cambodian, and half Vietnamese, though unfortunately (due to the aforementioned disinterest) am only slightly fluent in one Chinese dialect (which isn’t Mandarin or Cantonese, for sure). I am also learning Japanese, which I hope to be fluent in by the time I graduate. My interests include reading, writing, Korean pop music, watching TV (such as “Friends,” “Supernatural” and “Star Trek”) and watching movies (such as “Frozen” and “X-Men”).
You can reach Jenny by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.