Jennifer Lee | How to ask an Asian-American person where they’ve been from

Jennifer Lee | How to ask an Asian-American person where they’ve been from

To illustrate a type that is common of, i am going to provide a situation that a lot of Asian-American Penn students have in all probability faced at some time inside their life.

You encounter a complete stranger at a social function, be it an after-party, networking event, and even when you look at the line to obtain free meals. You shake fingers, introduce yourselves, checking down all the formalities involved in fulfilling somebody brand brand new. Then, you are asked by them the apparently innocuous but dreaded-by-all-Asian-Americans concern:

“So. Where have you been from? ”

At this stage, I would personally explain that i’m through the Northern Virginia/DC area, and jump the concern back to another individual. But generally, there clearly was a pause and brief flash of dissatisfaction that flashes throughout the other person’s face.