First, second, and third generation Asian Americans often find themselves feeling alienated from the American identity as a whole. Our language skills are constantly questioned, we bear the burden of the model minority status, we rarely see any positive representation in media and entertainment, and the recent political climate has heightened xenophobia against any “outsiders”.
I developed a Google Surveys questionnaire for Asian Americans at our school to vent about their experiences in the social/cultural purgatory. For their contributions, I rewarded them with a laser cut keychain with their name engraved in it as a small token of the “All-American Experience”. This gesture is meant to be a souvenir for the participants. We usually cannot ever find our names on those license plates or keychains or penholders at those gimmick-y souvenir shops anyways, so I wanted to be more inclusive and help my participants feel a little more “American”. I also laser cut non-English names and symbols for those who asked 🙂