Dear Friends of White Snake Projects:
This month, America celebrates AAPI Heritage Month. For those of us who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander, we celebrate our heritage everyday. As an Asian American woman who emigrated from Singapore to the US, it’s an interesting phenomenon to celebrate, well, just being . . . myself.
I’ve been musing about one of the stereotypes used to describe those of AAPI descent – the model minority. It’s mostly used pejoratively and weaponized as code for “robotic,” “over-disciplined,” “opinionless,” “unimaginative,” “rote-learners,” “boring,” “plodding,” “blinkered,” and the like. While the implication that there could be a “model” minority is harmful to us all, I’ve recently been leaning into the encompassing foundational qualities that make us phenomenally successful.
What does it take to develop mastery skills? For me, it was the hours of slogging through boring materials to reach a level where I had a modicum of mastery over the subject matter and could focus on being truly creative. Imaginative creativity is built on mastery, and mastery is a result of discipline, perseverance and plodding through a lot of boring stuff.
I like to think of AAPI stereotypes as being my secret super power. I’m a conformist luring my opponent into a false sense of security. Then I unleash my brilliance, and it’s all over.
Be safe, be well, focus on what you do well,
Cerise and all of us at White Snake Projects, An Activist Opera Company
Wear Yellow Proudly, an ACP initiative bringing awareness to Asian culture by showcasing and celebrating Asian artists worldwide.
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, a community group dedicated to restoring and empowering Asians and new immigrants in Greater Boston and beyond.