For Asian Americans, there is often the question of whether there’s a sort of Promised Land, where there is less racism and more happiness. Frequently, Canada is suggested as such a place. Filip and Chris, who were both born and raised in Canada, discuss the good and bad of life in the True North strong and free.
The following are edited excerpts from “Is Canada the Promised Land?”, the 23rd episode of Plan A’s podcast, Escape From Plan A.
In high school in Vancouver, I remember [the increase of Asian students] causing some tension because at that point, the Asian population becomes big enough to actually shape the culture around us. For example, my high school had a set of traditions. We were really into football, like American football…. I remember a lot of the white kids starting to grumble once the population was getting noticeably Asian…. If [the Asian students] decided not to show up to a football game, it would have a noticeable impact.
Some of [the embarrassment of being Asian] became pathological. There’s a station on the subway line in Toronto called Spadina. That’s where Chinatown is. And it got to the point where I realized that when I was getting off the subway at Spadina, I felt embarrassed. Because I felt that people on the train, who were white, were judging me because I was getting off at Chinatown and I was Chinese-looking.