What does it mean to be Asian?

I don’t know, but that is what I’m trying to teach Ava.

Right now it’s all about how someone looks. When we go to a Chinese, Thai, Korean, or Vietnamese restaurant, Ava says, “Mom, she is from China. Mom, he is Chinese.”

For awhile I would respond, “Well, she could be Korean/ Japanese/ Vietnamese/etc.” But tonight I told her that all the people she sees who she thinks might be from China could be from a different country in a larger area called Asia. I haven’t explained that many, probably most, of them were actually born in the United States.

The question that followed was, “Mom, can people in Asia have curly hair?” It’s fascinating to me that she can recognize someone who might be Asian so easily. Today we saw a woman from the side and she was wearing sunglasses. Ava pointed out that she looked Chinese because of the way her face was shaped like hers.

Next weekend we are going to Chinese Camp. It’s going to blow Ava’s mind to see so many people who are Chinese. I’m excited for the camp- Lisa and Clara are coming out to go with us- and I’m curious about the discussions that will follow.


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