I watched Crazy Rich Asians a total of three times. Sitting in my seat, gazing up at the breathtaking views of a city not too far from my own, as I took in the flowing Chinese melodies, I fell in love. I felt at home. I knew that the movie I was watching was something special, not just to me, but to the Asian-American community as a whole.
For many of us, we’ve grown up in America or moved here, but speak our native tongues with our parents, grandparents, and travel back to our native countries on school breaks. In a sense, we belong to two cultures at once yet belong to none at all. In fact, my mother refers to my generation as the “3rd culture.”
As a community that often struggles with identity, we don’t commonly find stories that we can relate to in the media. In fact, many of the Asians that I grew up watching on American TV were all portrayed in the same light: nerdy, shy, weird or quiet. It seemed we only ever fit into an archetype, a norm. And as I watched a movie with a group of incredibly nuanced groups of Asians – ones that were desirable,