The ABCs of Chinese Americans

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Monday, October 18, 2010


Most New Yorkers know that over the past half century, Flushing Queens has transformed from a mostly white suburb to one of the largest Asian populated areas in the United States. But in recent years, another transformation has been taking place โ€“ a new wave of immigrants from Mainland China is crowding Main Street, while the old wave โ€“ mostly from Taiwan, is watching the changes with some reticence. Radio Rookie Helen Peng has been trying to figure out where, exactly, she fits into the changing landscape.


Helen Peng

Comments [5]

Daphney from East NY

Haha, I completely agree with you with the Taiwans looking just like dolls. I'm not Asian but sometimes I wish I were like the Taiwans all doll-like. I think it's cute. I also download plenty of Asian music like K pop, J pop and J rock, but mostly K pop.

Dec. 07 2010 08:03 AM
Sophia from New York

This is a great piece about a young Asian American woman trying to reconcile and understand different perspectives and cultures. The spitting issue speaks to a disconnect from the 'When in Rome' principle, though these civic-minded manners do seem a lesser priority when new immigrants are working 12 hour days to make ends meet. It'd be great to hear the perspective of the parents, how they survive and navigate our cultural and social institutions, and more of what their children think about that process.

Oct. 27 2010 07:30 PM

Hi Daniel,

The song at the end of Helen's story is called "Be Ok" by the Taiwanese band Magic Power.

Thanks for listening!

Oct. 26 2010 01:38 PM
Daniel from Washington DC

I am foreign born, but have lived here most of my life. I never questioned who I am, I am everyone! My role models are Gandhi, Leonardo Da Vinci, Dr King ... and I am Spanish! I do not miss "The Old Country", all the good things about it are a Myth - otherwise we would not be here. Just stop stressing over who am I???, be an American, it is the right and fair thing to be. BTW, please tell me the artist and title of the song at end of your report. TY

Oct. 20 2010 02:17 PM
Margaret from NJ

Helen's Radio Rookie perception on ABC's vs. FOB's hit so close to home for me. As an "ABC," I grew up in Flushing Queens from 1987 to 1999. It was fun and insightful to hear that similar dynamics still exist now. I have very fond memories in listening to Helen describe differing fashion styles, walks and mannerisms. I agree that it's important to understand immigrant mentality as well as mainland culture. The opportunities differ sometimes for an ABC and a FOB. I hope that education and proper acculuration can close this gap.

Oct. 20 2010 12:35 PM

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