Hi everyone! My name is Meha Munshi and I will be a 4th year this upcoming fall, pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. I can’t say that i’ve had a “favorite” example of Asian American popular culture. When I was younger I occasionally watched Pokemon, which I believe originated in Japan, and would also play Pokemon video games. As a kid I was also interested in Hello Kitty. Currently, I am interested in yoga which originated from India. Although most people consider India to not be a part of Asia, it is (South Asia). In fact, parts of Russia and what is considered to be the middle east is also part of Asia, although many people don’t think of them to be. Henna tattoos, which are becoming more and more popular, could be considered Asian American popular culture, which I learned how to do to get closer to my culture.
To me, popular culture is much more than just TV shows or music groups. I believe popular culture to be anything related to the culture that is mainstream. This could include food, sports, special fads or trends, activities, clothing, celebrities, etc. Popular culture to me is almost an overhype by society and the media of a specific part of a different culture, and sometimes seems to “dumb down” certain parts of the culture for it to be more accepted and mainstream in other parts of the world. For Asian American popular culture, it would be the sudden interest in all of the previous things I listed, from Asia. It almost seems that anything considered to be “exotic” could be considered popular culture, because often times we try to imitate what we consider to be “exotic” and different. Studying different ethnic or minor community’s cultural production is important for many different reasons. First off, often times these productions can raise awareness about certain cultural stereotypes, which people can then educate themselves on. Also, many times a community’s cultural production will have some historical reference, which can raise awareness to that community’s past and possible hardships they may have faced.