Well, the cat’s out of the bag! To start 2019, I started doing a podcast with my sister, who is a Japanese-to-English translator in addition to her day job. In case you didn’t know, I love podcasts. I also have a list of podcast recommendations.
Convos with my Sister – Episode 3 — Lunar New Year Chinese Style, aka CNY. Skipping school, fireworks, rice cakes, carrot cakes. We almost forgot red pockets! The Lunar New Year cultural hodgepodges we’ve encountered in our Chinese families.
Our podcast is called Convos with my Sister — Chinese Maybe Experiences. Basically, my sister and I talk about cultural quirks that catch our attention. As siblings, we have many shared understandings, but at the same time, our five-year age gap has produced curious differences. Even comparing our high school demographics was eye opening for me! Most of the time, we’re laughing at ourselves.
This podcasting project had been brewing at the back of my mind for over a year. I constantly look for voices from the Asian communities, which includes the Asian diaspora, Asian Americans and Asian Canadians, as well as voices in Asia itself. One of the things I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a gap in English-language Chinese American and Asian American podcasts where the hosts talk about their perceptions of their perceived cultural roots (be it Japanese, Chinese, South Asian, mixed race). I don’t take issue with how they present because they are sharing their personal experiences, which often do resonate with many people who have racialised experiences, including myself. At the same time, I do think that the public conversation can be expanded.
The bicultural folks who navigate between the two cultures, let’s say as fully bilingual (spoken, and preferably literate) often don’t wade into these public discussions. But in some ways, they are in the best position to engage with their peers because of (I hope) an empathy for different cultural experiences. How does this actually look? Well, for example, my family eats Chinese dinners at home and I grew up on a TV diet of at least half Chinese content, even though we’re in Canada. While I do share many of the racialised experiences Asian hosts discuss, for some reason my Chinese core was stable enough so that to me, it was still just my world alongside the Canadian one.
We’ve already launched a few pilot episodes. But start on our latest one about Chinese New Year because I think it’s pretty funny.