While young Asian Americans seem increasingly assimilated to American ways, they also carve out a defining culture, distinct from that of their counterparts who live in Asia, but also dissimilar to that of young Americans of other cultures. As they blend traditional elements into the hottest trends, Asian American youngsters are inventing a whole adoptive culture within the youth culture itself.
The Zone, South Beach, Atkins. Fad diets are still growing in popularity, but young Asian American females report that the way to stay ultra slim is with self-discipline. â€œWe just eat very tiny portions and keep calories down to a bare minimum,â€? is what one Look-Look respondent recently said when asked about diet trends. Sounds too easy.
Young Asian Americans have always held culture and tradition in the highest regard. But they also love their hip-hop and surf wear. Even the youngest Asian American teens have started to fuse traditional Japanese fashion such as a kimono with a new pair of Converse high-tops. While basketball, snowboarding and video games rule, Karaoke and mah-jongg are just as popular.
High-Tech Food Prep:
Young Asian Americans are usually the first to sport the absolute latest in tech gadgets. And now it seems there's even more to be jealous of. A new dorm-room essential is a Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Warmer that uses â€œneuro fuzzyâ€? technology with multiple menu settings for brown rice, semi-brown rice, sweet rice, mixed rice, porridge and sushi rice. Another hot new item, which also embraces the do-it-yourself element, is the SoyaJoy soymilk maker. Instead of buying prepackaged soymilk from the market, Asian Americans are buying soybeans and creating their own flavors at home.
Next Stop, Canton Pop:
So maybe a Canton Pop artist isn't going to be No. 1 on TRL today, but many young Asian Americans are adding Canton Pop artists to their MP3 playlists, alongside Usher, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys and Hoobastank. MP3 players create the sound track for many young people's lives, so it's understandable that young Asian Americans are mixing this ethnically influenced genre into their sound tracks, merging two aspects of their lives: heritage and music.
Trash the Grunge:
Gone are the days of matted hair, dirty (looking) jeans, and baggy and big just about everything else. Young Asian American males have been sporting a new look for fall that we're welcoming with open arms. Time to head to the tailor and dress in a way nagging moms have urged. In are shiny, just-polished shoes, Clorox-bright sneakers, well-fitting pants, jeans that sit on the waist (not hips), button-downs instead of extra large T-shirts. An overall clean-cut look from head to toe is cool.
More than ever before, young Asian Americans are becoming more open-minded toward interracial coupling. While historical feuds may have deterred their parents and grandparents, today's youth are making a point to break down the racial barriers set by previous generations, and are in the process of defining their own relationships and values.
We're not talking jeans here. The days of lowered cars scraping the asphalt are over. While lowering cars may be out, the custom vehicle craze is far from over. The latest trend is to customize car lights and reflectors. Some of the more car-crazy youth install clear or white head- and taillights, and paint over their reflectors to coordinate with the colors of their car.
One of a Kind:
Young Asian Americans value their family and their culture. Among this group, their cultural traditions come first and foremost. In order of importance is an appreciation for individual ethnicity, as an individual in their own right, and for being recognized as part of American culture.
Source: Look-Look. Inc. (www.look.com)