Thesis Project 

Being the child of immigrants and growing up in Los Angeles, I’ve been immersed in an array of cultures and traditions. I celebrated Chinese New Year with my family friends, spoke to my parents in their village dialect, watched Kobe Bryant dominate basketball, and explored the best taco trucks. I had never really perceived myself as being a minority and never had to reflect on my identity as an Asian-American, because I grew up in a predominantly Asian community where all of my friends’ parents were immigrants and we all had similar backgrounds. Once I started to enter the real world, I started to see that I was sometimes an outsider because of my cultural differences.

In our current political climate, there is a huge debate on immigrants and their place in American society. Immigrants come to America for a better life for themselves and for their children. I cannot imagine the work our immigrant parents have put into building themselves a life in a completely foreign place. How do people manage being so far away from their families and leaving everything you know behind?

In the Hyphen is driven by my interest in analyzing and highlighting my own cultural experiences that have shaped the experience of being first generation Asian-American as well as the other young college students around me. Through conducting interviews, I will gather stories of the struggles as well as the triumphs of finding a balance between two cultures and being in this in-between. I want to bring more attention to this specific experience that is extremely common, but not often spoken about or recognized.