Thursday, April 19, 2007

      ( 12:02 AM ) teahouse
Asian Guilt

It's past my bedtime, but I can't sleep. I've been online reading all of the stories about the crazy kid who shot and killed 32 people, plus himself, at Virginia Tech.

I was talking about it to my Asian friends earlier today about it. I read this article about South Korea's collective guilt over the event.

We all understood.

It's hard to explain. But since Asian culture tends to focus more on the collective than the individual (a glaring stereotype, I know..yet grounded in some truth), I feel the shame that someone who looks like me did something so awful. I feel like apologizing to everyone I know.

I asked the Boy if he felt it, too. Here was our ensuing conversation.

Boy: Well, maybe when your parents push you too hard in science and math, you just snap?

THB: But wait... he was an English major!

Boy: Oh. Well, maybe they made him do pre-med? My mom made me do pre-med. That would be enough to send anyone over the edge.

THB: That is so not funny. You shouldn't joke about such things.

Boy: Eh.

Anyway, I have always liked the Hokies. One summer when I was in college, I hung out with some guys from Virginia Tech, and they invited me to a "hokie roast." They explained that the roast would involve the "castration" of a turkey.

The schedule in the invitation read:

4:00 Come on over and see the turkey.

4:30 Watch as the turkey becomes a hokie.

8:00 Time for dinner!

The "becoming" step involved "castration" of an enormous turkey-shaped pinata with large balls full of candy.

I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, I hope those guys are doing ok. It's been a tough and tragic week. They are in my thoughts and prayers.



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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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