Follow my Existential Exile. . .

Monday, January 30, 2012

The greatest of these is LOVE.

I have never met a group of people with similar phenotype that have such a strong sense of self-hate comparable to that of Asian cultures. I thought Black people in America had some self-worth issues, but it is nothing compared to what I see and experience daily while living in Asia, specifically Southeast Asia.

It is illegal in America to discriminate against hiring someone based on their "race", hair color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Even if the employer really didn't like the candidate because they are Black or Latino or too White, or too fat, or whatever, the employer would not have the audacity to literally verbalize what they think for fear of being sued by the candidate or ridiculed by the NAACP.  Apparently this sense of tactfulness does not apply in Asia. If your employer thinks you're too fat, too short, too dark, or too "Asian" they feel they have the right to say so, and not offer you the job because you don't meet their superficial requirements of the ideal employee. I just had a conversion with an Asian co-worker over lunch. Most of the current lunch time topics are centered around the pathetic situation with the school we're employed by here in Vietnam. This particular lecturer is of Asian ethnicity (I won't get more detailed than this). And might I add the school is owned and operated by people of an ethnicity from Southeast Asia. This lecturer has been living in Vietnam for a while, working as a designer. He decided to apply for a teaching job at the school because, as he stated,
"I'm tired of having to re-train every Vietnamese employee I hire. I wanted to see what was wrong with the education they were receiving at the universities in the city." 

And now that he's here, he can see the problems. Let me tell you, there are many. However, during this designer's interview with the Asian director of this school, before he was even hired, the director made it very clear to him that,

"We usually don't hire Asians."

As he told me, "It took everything in my power not to punch him." 
Punch? He would've got a foot up his arse at the least.
Yes it is true. Since the school is a private education institute, and funded by the students who pay their tuition, it is critical that the school give the customers what they want. The perception is that Western lecturers know more about everything, design, business, English, etc.  So the student who sees a Western lecturer in their classroom will feel they are gaining more, getting their "money's worth" than if they saw an Asian lecturer. And heaven forbid the lecturer is Vietnamese, the students would really have a fit. Another co-worker actually got demoted from lecturer to administrative assistant because the Vietnamese business students did not want to learn from a Vietnamese business woman.

I have observed this inferior behavior and try my best to breath an air of self love in my students. I remind them that their skin would look healthier if it actually experienced at least 1 minute of sunlight a day. I remind them that while they continue to bash Vietnamese design, it is in THEIR power to re-construct what Vietnamese design looks like. I remind them that the one thing that makes them unique as a designer is their culture. No one else in the world knows what it is like to be Vietnamese, use this as your strength, let this be your source of creative inspiration. I can only hope they are enlightened to learn that when we love ourselves, there's nothing and no one that can stop you from fulfilling your God given destiny, no force can prohibit you from achieving your highest potential. 


  1. Exellently put my dear. I hope they heed your words!

  2. So eloquently said my dear daughter and thank the Lord you're about to leave and be gone from these farsighted individuals. They truly are in need of some self-esteem counciling!