So Alinna and I were talking last night about fobby-ness. For those not familiar, FOB is a largely Asian-American term meaning "fresh off the boat" or having characteristics that are largely associated with the country of their ancestry despite living in America. Basically, it means that the person hasn't really adjusted to life in America and carries on in life as if they were still living in China/Korea/Japan/Vietnam/[insert country of choice].
So, I, being the way that I am, set up a monochrome world of fobby-ness. It's black and white. You're either fobby or you're not. Going to Cal and Asian American Christian Fellowship, I met a lot of people I just didn't get. After a while, probably because of my frustration, I just painted the scene with the big brush and thought to myself that it's because they're fobby. They're operating out of a cultural paradigm that I cannot understand.
To my defense, this is in large, the world of Japanese-Americans. You're either fobby or you're not. It's a black and white world. There are the new immigrants, people who came over during the 80s and 90s because their company sent them here to establish the American branch of the company. Then there are nisei (2nd gen, largely grandparents now), sansei (3rd gen, middle aged), and yonsei (4th gen, kids and young adults) who been in America since the turn of the 20th century. They don't speak Japanese, might be part of a taiko drumming club for the cultural experience, have a family member who was in the 442nd, received money from the government for the internment camp experience, and don't make Japanese food except for maybe spam musubi (which isn't really Japanese, but Hawaiian).
Alinna, however, sees things in shades of gray. There's a middle ground where you retain some aspects of your culture but are not fobby. She speaks Cantonsese, affirms strong loyal ties to family, etc. but at the same time, she often craves Italian food not Chinese, speaks English without an Asian accent, etc.. I guess this is the common experience of Chinese-Americans, living in the middle ground, I don't know.