[This article was previously published by USA Rise Up, November 16, 2009. It has been more than one year but it's still relevant.]
by Jennie S. Bev, Northern California
In today’s mainstream society, Americans illustrate a greater acceptance of Asian influences, values, and culture. Asian pop culture is thriving. From suburban noodle houses to Zen-style spas, Ayurvedic restaurants, Shiatsu massage, kanji tattoos, Yugi-Oh, Ichiro Suzuki baseball cards, Thai diners, and anime and manga comics to.. the list goes on.
Asian cultural influences seem more naturally accepted in today’s America, which is encouraging. Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor and former dean of John F. Kennedy School of Government, coined term “soft power,” which refers to cultural elements making meaningful changes in society. Professor Nye is an ambassador for bridging cultures to bring meaningful coexistence and understanding to people with various backgrounds.
How does the world see us (USA), and how do we see ourselves, as we become more and more influenced by Asian culture? Do we see ourselves excelling or downgrading? Does it matter that Barack Obama is the first African-American with Asian relatives? Will we eventually see the world from an Asian perspective?