You seem to have stumbled upon my podcast website. This is just an introductory post, and I do not yet have content out, if you are reading this on April 30th, 2020 (or sometime in the near future of this date). I had originally had this idea to create this podcast around when COVID-19 spread globally, and Asians around the world were being targeted in cases of hate violence. But then I got really sick and lost my voice, and as I’m recovering, I continued feeling the tug to just begin. I will try my best to begin recording as soon as possible and post up the first episodes I have written. I’ll also have the scripts of my future podcast episodes posted here in this blog for my readers who prefer reading 🙂
As a collective Asians tend to have a lot of shame. It’s as though shame is culturally embedded within us! And, well… it is. We are culturally taught to be ashamed of ourselves, which is something that makes our reaction towards these hate crimes even worse. Recently, in a vocational class, we took tests to understand our strengths, and how it could be applied in our ministries. The class was all Caucasian (except me), led by a Black discussion leader. Through the worksheets we had done, I saw such a huge difference, and I never felt more “Asian” in that moment. Everyone seemed to have a really easy time expressing how God gave them XYZ gifts to use in the ministry, whereas I struggled a lot. I acknowledged my gifts, and then talked about how I saw the flaws and weaknesses I had due to these strengths, and how I could better rely on God to improve upon those weaknesses to further my ministries. My discussion leader called me out for not appreciating enough of my strengths, and I felt mortified. Ashamed of being ashamed, ashamed of not being faithful enough, and ashamed of being me. Just the thought of simply talking about my strengths, even in the understanding that these are gifts from God, felt so cocky and wrong! I never had such a strong example of the different psyche I had regarding myself as a person due to my upbringing as an Asian American. I felt… ashamed, as though maybe it’s my faith that isn’t enough. That because I saw my weaknesses, I was somehow not appreciating God’s calling and gifts enough.
The more I thought about it, the more I recognized in my every day actions, I am so rooted in this subconscious idea that I have to be ashamed – ashamed of being Asian, of being a woman, of being too young, of getting older, of being too old – I was taught to be inherently ashamed of every single earthly identity I had. That works to the advantage of the Gospel – who are we to boast in anything we are or anything we have? But from a theological standpoint, it’s still wrong, because we are created in God’s image: to be ashamed of the image He has given us to reflect is an insult! We should understand our weaknesses, because ultimately, it is through our weaknesses that God shares with us His strength. However, weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s not to be used to undermine our gifts and strengths. This is the reason I chose the verse: “Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed” Psalm 34:5 to share this podcast, because I want this podcast to encourage Asians around the world to be unashamed of ourselves.
That’s not to say that you have to be a Christian Asian to listen to this podcast, by all means, this podcast is meant to be inclusive! I’m not here to shame anyone or spread the toxic idea that you are not welcomed simply based on your beliefs or ethnicity. Even if you don’t believe in Christ, I hope this can be a safe space for you to listen (or read) about learning to become unashamed of your identity. And just to be clear, shame is universal, and a lot of the topics and episodes can pertain to you even if you aren’t Asian. If not, maybe this will bring to you a different understanding of your Asian/Asian-X friends. The point of this podcast is to uplift in light of the current racism sparked by COVID-19. The currently written podcast episodes are written under the perspective of me: an Asian American who grew up in a very culturally traditional family growing up on the fringes of poverty. We all come in different variations of socioeconomic, religious, political, and educational backgrounds, and varying percentages of Asian-ness and other-ness. I can only speak to my own experiences, and in the future, I’d love to share some of my listener stories and experiences 🙂
If you feel ashamed of being Asian/Asian-X during this time period, please don’t be discouraged! You are not alone, but let’s remember that 달고나커피 (Dalgona coffee) is attributed to the amazing coffee shops our Korean brothers and sisters have, and it’s basically become “the drink” of this COVID-19 quarantine season. We are so much more than what the Enemy tries to tell us through racist remarks and violent acts against us, but let’s rise above that – not through returning racist remarks and fists, but in recognizing that God has made us for greater things than hate and fear. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” -Psalm 139:14