Yoon (22) is born and raised in Myanmar. Her parents are both Myanmar-Muslim. She came in 2019 to The Netherlands to study. She now studies Master International Communication at Hanze UAS. Her life quote is: “Be positive and always value your roots.”
What kind of upbringing did you have? There is also a term: “Tiger parents or Tiger mom”. Did you have a similar upbringing?
I did not have a similar upbringing, my parents are giving me more chances to follow my pursuit and dream within their circle or box.
Are there any taboos or things that you can’t discuss with your parents?
Sex before marriage and sex in general are always out of topic, we cannot discuss this with them. I just literally avoid the topic with them and it is similar in Myanmar/Burmese-society but not in The Netherlands.
Do you feel close with your Asian roots or not?
I somehow feel close and proud of being Asian.
Did you ever feel ashamed of you being Asian?
NO, why would I? I feel like being Asian is unique, just like the food, the culture and the places.
Did you ever had a role model when you grew up?
Yes, I had. For now, my role models are the women who are really independent in every way. I think role models are important. It depends on the people’s perception but I don’t think it is important to have a role model that looks like me.
What do you think of the Asian representation in The Netherlands?
I think in the Netherlands, there is still some discrimination towards the Asian. I cannot get a job easily with my current visa or without speaking Dutch. As a minority, It is the same. I cannot easily get a job by showing my religion in my CV (most organizations ask applicants to put their religion in their CV, especially the government).
Do you feel like you’re the ‘The Asian Model Minority Myth’?
I don’t know.
What made you who you are now?
My strong desire, motivation and aim to become an independent woman.
What are stereotype Asians in your opinion and where does that come from? Do you see other Asians like those stereotypes?
I do not know; it came from where most aunties think it is okay to let go of what they believed in and try to fit in those stereotypes and repeat those circles though generation by generation
What stereotypes and comments have you heard about your appearance?
Most of the stuff is like, you are thin, and you are fat. Yes, I am. I do not usually care, and I always love myself and my physical appearance. I just neglect and sometimes I counterattack like I gain weight because I eat a lot of delicious food.
Do you know any Myanmar/Burmese stereotypes and do you identify yourself with that?
A Myanmar stereotype I can identify myself with is putting our family first and then myself.
What racist remarks and discrimination have you experienced? Have you experienced it before?
As a pure Myanmar(Burmese), because of what I believe in or my religion, I have experienced discrimination like having to queue at a different line because of my passport or pay more money. Because I only eat Halal meat or food, people exclude me from parties or gatherings.
What is a funny trait or what is something that not everyone knows about you?
I love to watch my favorite movies again and again.
In Asian culture, it is normal as a woman to get married as soon as possible, have children, and become a housewife. Because when you have a husband, you have children, you have “made” it in life. How do you see it?
I do not agree with those expectations and believe that a woman’s life is made or complete when she has what she aimed for.
Where do you stand now and what are your plans for the future?
I do care about what I think is not fair to others, and my plans for the future are working for the vulnerable people and for minorities to have their own rights.
What do you want to give to the readers? What do you hope to achieve?
For the readers, Do not forget to love yourself and take-care of yourself. I do hope to achieve my goals before my 30s.
Where can we follow you?