Episode 123 – Culture Shock: How Filipino Americans deal with Americana (Social Distance Series)

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Being raised in the United States, we as Filipino Americans have learned American cultural practices that we’ve grown accustomed to and even embraced – eating hotdogs in a bun, trick or treating, camping, Superbowl parties, calling in sick after Superbowl Parties, weekend BBQs, or even being treated to a meal on your birthday. There are even American cultures that many Filipinos practice in the Philippines as a result of American colonialism/capitalism – playing basketball, speaking English, listening to U.S. pop music, etc. Yet, there are still times when our Filipino American sensibilities still clash with our perception of normative “American” (read: white) cultural practices.

On this episode, we engage some of our listeners live on Facebook and Instagram on the topic of “culture shock” as we discuss “American” cultural practices that we may still have questioned internally, but were too afraid to ask when we were growing up. Is it weird to call elders by their first names? Do parties serving little to no food feel like an absolute sham? Should I walk outside without wearing shoes? We also talk about our own cultural practices that we, as Filipino Americans, may have hidden from our peers, either because we were too embarrassed or did not fit into the normative culture.

Reflect with us and remind us that we aren’t alone — so that Filipinos and other people of color who grow up in the U.S. won’t be embarrassed by their cultural practices, but rather have the courage to embrace it so that others might do the same.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Got any examples of American things that shocked you (or still shock you)? Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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