Okay. I am starting this blog with a joyous heart and emotional drive.
Before writing this, I tweeted my intention of creating a feature that eventually allowed me to realize how dramas moved me in so many ways. I have to admit that life isn’t always “ice cream with a cherry on top”, and sometimes I also feel that need to get out of the reality and unexpectedly, watching Asian dramas became one of my go-to fortresses.
…culture, and language made me realize that although we’re all different in physicality or language, we all are still bonded with commonality.
— TheDramaUnnie (@thedramaunnie) July 9, 2017
Aside from watching Asian dramas (movies, including), I also read various Asian novels (the English translations of most novels I read were so hard to find back then!), manga, manhwa or webtoons especially if my time– or mobile data, for that matter!– permits. I cannot recall the time I started reading these kinds of contemporary Asian literatures, but reckon it started in 1997 where I discovered a book about Asian literature at the back of our house. It contained poems, narratives, and speeches of renowned Asian figures in the arts and literature.
Perhaps, the idea of myself as an Asian, who gradually developed a deep interest in Asian history and culture, pushed me to learn more and go beyond of what I am. Of what I already know.
So, my journey to discovering Asian culture did not stop at watching Asian films/dramas or reading Asian literature. I was about to take my MA in Asian Studies at a prestige university here in the Philippines, but upon weighing my options and thinking thoroughly about my life in general (long term goals, including), I opted to take MBA instead and put my “MA in Asian Studies dream” at rest for the time being (I actually had my credentials already forwarded for the MA exam in this university and at the same time passed the MBA qualifying exam at another state university).
Don’t get me wrong, I love my current program. It’s just that I love this part of me who loves all things ASIAN, more than the other part of me who likes being so… corporate.
The “Other Side” of the Coin
I’ve been working for an East Asian owned company for years, and during those years I realized that reality sure bites hard. I discovered flaws (which can be overlooked, of course!), and heard subtle insults (due to East Asian superiority complex, I guess?) to name a few. I eventually came into my senses that my fondness over things that relates to “Asian” shouldn’t cloud my whole perception of this particular race just because I was too exposed to its “glorified” packaging, all thanks to media.
There were times that I don’t want to watch a particular drama or read any literature from a certain country. I guess there are times that we discover or experience terrible encounters and inevitably, sucking them up just to get by. But, I am not generalizing. I know that we all are just the same, and there are people of different nationality who are as kind (or better!) as our own people. 🙂
Because of my experiences, I learned how to overlook racial flaws and decided to see through the mistakes and accepted the beauty of diversity, history, and culture. Although some nationalities that I have met no longer practice any of the tradition or culture that our books taught us, I still saw a thin line that connects a certain race to another race–a commonality.
The Drive That Makes Me Who I Am Today
My fondness over “Asian” things makes my day a little bit brighter. This fondness pushed me to create online platforms, not to attract attention, but to share knowledge and information with people who have the same interest. I am not saying that I’m a pro in this particular field — NO– in fact, younger followers of Asian popular culture actually know a lot more than I do. 🙂
We all feel the need to connect with people who share the same interest and opinion on a certain topic. Connecting with one another allows us to have a deeper understanding of who we are as Asians, sans the difference in culture, tradition, language, and lifestyle. While this can be regarded as one of the many ways to truly immerse, I think this journey of discovering who we are in this race called “Asian” will surely never end. 🙂