Diversity Abroad

Video Transcript

Being an Asian-American, people don't really understand that you're American. So that's number one–of having to almost defend that, "Yes, I am American." But also know that, when people are asking, "No, but really, where are you from?"–that's something that you see here too–it's coming from a place of, just, ignorance. In that case, enlighten. I was comfortable saying I was born in the U.S. My mother and father were born in Japan. I was fine saying that. I don't think that when you're faced with that sort of situation where you're trying to actively develop relationships and engage, I don't think getting defensive is helpful. When you're trying to do this in Ukraine, I would say that getting defensive is not helpful. Other times it would just be getting called "China" in the street, or "Ni hao" in the streets or something and maybe some kids chasing me around, and I would just turn around and just look at them, and then just keep walking. So, "acknowledgement without escalation" was something that I did a lot. Again in my case, nothing ever really turned violent, it was just more of an annoyance.

A Peace Corps member discusses dealing with unexpected attention while abroad.