By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Love them or hate them, chances are that most Asian Americans have received chain e-mails of lists that poke fun at the stereotypes of being Asian. For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we wanted to run our own list of stereotypes along with examples of people who do (or don’t) exemplify them.
You know you’re Asian/Pacific Islander American when …
You drive a Japanese car because they are the awesomest!
After his DUI in 2007, actor Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”) traded in his flashy sports car for a Prius, proof that people are more likely to drive drunk in sports cars. Good for Kim for going green. Gooo, Toyota!
You are submissive and go out of your way to avoid fisticuffs.
Manny Pacquiao is the first Filipino and Asian boxer to win five world titles in five different weight divisions. He is currently rated by Ring Magazine as the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
You are great at golf and tennis but horrible at basketball and football.
Michelle Wie might not be particularly known for her lay-up skills, but she sure does have a mean line drive.
Former professional Michael Te-Pei Chang won the French Open at the age of 17, making him the youngest male to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Tiger Woods (one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai) is also very good at golf.
You are often one of the shortest people in a crowd.
Unless your name is Yao Ming.
You can eat all you want but you won’t gain weight.
Takeru Kobayashi, a Japanese competitive eater and a member of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, held the world record for hot-dog eating for nearly six years and is ranked third in the world for competitive eating. He weighs only 165 pounds.
You downplay your status and accomplishments because it’s not good to be boastful.
Half Samoan actor Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as WWF wrestler “The Rock”) was offered a promotional deal with Dunkin’ Donuts, which would have had a donut named after him. Thinking it would make him appear bigheaded, he graciously turned down the offer.
You go through great lengths just to get a good meal.
In the film “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle,” actors John Cho and Kal Penn spend the whole movie chasing after the legendary White Castle hamburgers after seeing a commercial for them.
Your parents force you to become a doctor, lawyer, or — if they’re willing to settle — pharmacist or engineer.
Actor Julia Ling (“Chuck”) was a chemical engineering major at UCLA.
She claims that reading about quantum physics keeps her sane in Hollywood.
Actor Masi Oka graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science in computer science and mathematics. He now plays a time-traveling Hiro on the show “Heroes.”
Oka was once known for being on the cover of TIME Magazine in 1987 (he is the one on the far left in blue). He was dubbed as one of those “Asian-American Whiz Kids.”
Chef and TV personality Ming Tsai graduated from Yale University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is now owner and executive chef of the famous Blue Ginger restaurant in Massachusetts. His uncles and brothers are all engineers. His father is a professor in aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University.
You get carded in a bar, even though you are 45.
George Takei was born in 1937, which makes him 72 years old. Seriously. ♦
Thi-Le Vo contributed to this report.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.