So why did I name this blog “Chinese or Japanese?” An excerpt from over 13 years ago from the first season of King of the Hill inspired me in naming this blog and was also the first time I began thinking about what it means to be Asian American. In the first season, in episode seven “Westie Side Story,” Hank Hill’s Laotian neighbor Khan Souphanousinphone moves to Arlington from his family. When Hank Hill and the neighborhood boys meet Khan, they find a little more about their new neighbor, the first thing Hank asks Khan is: “So are you Chinese or Japanese?”
As Khan goes on about his Laotian heritage, Hank Hill and company are puzzled about this mythical land called Laos, and ultimately lose interest after Khan’s rant only to ask Khan one more time “So are you Chinese or Japanese?”
Here’s a clip of the scene I dug up:
Still in middle school at the time, as funny as I found the clip, I began to think about what it means to be Asian American. Throughout high school, college, and my life I’ve been socially conscious of how race and ethnicity affects us as individuals as well as perceptions of Asians in the US.
Now in 2008, I’ve decided to compile my ideas and thoughts about being Asian American.