Yu Qing Born and raised in the Netherlands, but both my parents were born in China. Studying Psychology at UvA.
What kind of upbringing did you have? There is also a term: “Tiger parents or Tiger mom”. Did you have a similar upbringing?
When I was younger, my parents were quite uptight and strict. For example, they kind of expected me to be the best of the class so whenever I got a grade lower than an 8 or even a 9 I was not praised. As I got older, however, they’ve become much more understanding and supportive. If I don’t succeed or don’t do as well, they react with much more empathy, more “Western like”.
Although at that time their expectations did feel like a lot of pressure, now I do appreciate how they raised me because they’ve always pushed me to be better.
Are there any taboos or things that you can’t discuss with your parents?
There really isn’t anything I can’t discuss with my parents, but somehow I just don’t. I think that this has more to do with my personality than with our culture though.
Do you feel close with your Asian roots or not?
Yes and no. I am more than proud to say that I’m Chinese and I have a lot of respect for my culture. My parents also ensure that I don’t forget about my roots. However, growing up abroad resulted in me not knowing my own language that well which does feel like I am drifting apart from my roots. Because of this I do sometimes feel like an outlier because I’m not fully Chinese nor Dutch.
Did you ever feel ashamed of you being Asian?
Right now I’m proud to be Asian, but growing up there were definitely times I wished not to be Asian.
Did you ever had a role model when you grew up?
No, not really. I feel like this question gets asked a lot but I can never think of one specific person that I perceived as a role model.
What do you think of the Asian representation in The Netherlands?
I think it’s not diverse enough (mostly East-Asians) and the way (East-)Asians are represented is way too often not representative at all.
Do you feel like you’re the ‘The Asian Model Minority Myth’? x
My answer is not a straight no but I also wouldn’t say that I am a perfect model minority myth.
What made you who you are now?
The experiences I’ve gone through in my life.
Have people also made comments about you being Chinese? How did you react to this, what did you feel?
Yes, it used to happen a lot more since I grew up in a very white dominated part of the Netherlands. When I was younger I always ignored the comments or laughed about it. Now I know better and always try to speak up and see if there’s any miscommunication.
What are stereotype Asians in your opinion and where does that come from? Do you see other Asians like those stereotypes?
Smart & unassertive. I think it comes from real life encounters (with Asians that fit these stereotypes) as well as the picture of Asians that’s drawn in the media. I try not to admit to these stereotypes but I know that I do sometimes have this implicit bias.
What racist remarks and discrimination have you experienced? Have you experienced it before? Where, when, how? Which experience do you remember most? So has it gotten worse with the Coronavirus? What do you feel and how do you feel when people make such comments?
The usual comments such as “Nihao” and “Babi pangang”. These remarks were mostly made when I was younger and lived in a less diverse city. Fortunately I don’t experience encounters like this as much as I used to anymore.
I don’t remember a specific experience but something that does stick with me is that a lot of the times the comments were made by children (8-16 years old). This really upsets me because they are the future generation and hearing those comments coming from them makes me feel very discouraged. Something that upsets me even more is when comments like this are made towards my parents. Since the coronavirus I’ve gotten one or two racist comments but I know that my parents have had to put up with a lot more since they still live in a white dominated area.
What is a funny trait or tell something that not everyone knows about you
I have to have at least three tubs of peanut butter at home.
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?
My mom gave up a lot just to be with my dad, and I do notice that my mom sometimes does certain things “just because that’s what’s expected from her”. However, there are also certain aspects in which she did not adhere to this standard (she’s the most hardworking woman I know and is not afraid to speak up). This made me realize that all women should be able to achieve whatever they want to achieve and should never feel like they have to comply with the common belief just because that’s what it has been like a long time ago.
Where do you stand now and what are your plans for the future?
I think we can do better at representing the Asian community since there’s still not enough diversity within the Asian representation. People from all over Asia should feel represented and included.
What do you want to give to the readers?
I hope that there are people that can recognise themselves in my experiences and therefore feel a little less like an outlier + I hope that the non-Asian people reading this become more understanding.
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