AAA, A3, Mizzou’s Asian American Association is a club organized to promote Asian-American awareness and break down stereotypes via social networking among students.
Sounds great, right? But how do they do this — exactly. At one of their bimonthly general body meetings this week, students gathered to go over some logistical information over social events they’d been planning for the coming month. The topics weren’t, necessarily, hard-hitting toward their bigger mission: a disco-themed roller skating night, a bowling event — voting on the color for the new AAA sweatpants. But, they told me, an Asian-interest topic is always discussed at the end of every meeting. It’s incorporated. It’s a staple for the gatherings. Why? Because this is just one way they fulfill their mission. They not only plan out-reaching events on campus, but consistently work to break down stereotypes and understand the similarities and differences within the group.
Today’s topic: The Tiger Mom
Ironically, in an AA-style setup, the room of 20 or more students circled their chairs to create an atmosphere perfect for open-hearted discussion. The Tiger Mom, as defined in different ways by a few students – is the parenting method of one Chinese mother who wrote a book that got the nation talking. Her message, however, also created a stereotype for Asian culture parenting in America. AAA members spent the rest of the meeting (30+ minutes) sharing stories about their experiences growing up with strict rules and punishments from their parents. They laughed, joked around, yet emphathised with each other. Not everyone’s stories matched up. Some parents were ideal; Some were terrifying; Some spanked; Some scolded; Some even had their kids doing handstands in the middle of a room or holding bags of fruit out to their sides for hours.
Moral of the story and one overarching connection: Strict Asian parents have their rules and expectations out of their love for their children. It’s the conclusion the group made and one that speaks volumes for Asian-Americans in general.