Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Americas

Survey: 1 in 5 Asian Americans hide cultural identity

By MINLU ZHANG in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-05-10 10:25
Share - WeChat

About 1 in 5 Asian Americans say they have hidden some aspects of their culture from people who aren't Asian, for several reasons, from potential discrimination to "fear of being embarrassed" to wanting to avoid awkward questions or having to explain themselves.

And about 30 percent of Asians born in the US say they have hidden their culture, compared with 15 percent of Asian immigrants.

Those are some of the key findings of a new Pew Research Center report released Monday. The survey is based on a sample of 7,006 adults in the United States who identify as Asian, either alone or in combination with other races or Hispanic ethnicity. Respondents were interviewed between July 5, 2022, and Jan 27 of this year.

Young Asian Americans are more likely to hide some aspects of their culture or heritage such as food, cultural practices, clothing or religious practices, than older Asians are, the survey found.

Thirty-nine percent of Asian Americans age 18 to 29 said that they have done so, compared with 12 percent among those ages 50 to 64, and 5 percent of those 65 and older.

When asked why they have hidden aspects of their culture, Asian adults born in the US cited reasons such as a "lack of understanding" and "fear of discrimination".

Those two responses highlight the challenges faced by US-born Asians, who often must "deal with non-Asians having a general lack of knowledge of their heritage" or "avoid negative experiences such as bullying, teasing, or mockery", the report said.

For foreign-born Asians, the reason for hiding aspects of their culture is more likely to be the "extra effort sometimes needed to explain aspects of their heritage to non-Asians". They also cited fears of prejudice or situations that would make them feel uncomfortable.

The Pew survey was released during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a celebration to recognize the contributions and influence of the AAPI community to the history, culture and achievements of the US.

Asian Americans comprise 7 percent of the US population, according to data from Pew. And nearly all, or 90 percent of Asians in the US say that they have many different cultures.

Immigrants make up about 54 percent of the Asian population in the US. Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese people together account for 79 percent of all Asian Americans.

The Asian community is dealing with a surge in hate crimes and attacks. Nearly 3 out of 4 Chinese Americans reported experiencing racial discrimination within the past year, according to a recent study by Columbia University and the Committee of 100.

That figure has further led to most Asian Americans not feeling safe in the US. The Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the US this year reveals that half of them feel unsafe due to their race or ethnicity.

Asians are also the least likely to feel they belong and are accepted in the US. A survey conducted by the Asian American Foundation and the organization Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change found that 22 percent of Asian Americans said they feel accepted by the US, compared with 57 percent of white respondents, 25 percent of Hispanic people and 24 percent of black people.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349