It’s true. I’m now a father – only a week old. I’m also typing this completely exhausted with my baby girl on my lap. Wow, there’s no feeling like this ever.
But it’s a strange range of feelings too…I’m excruciatingly tired and on cloud nine at the same time. And I’ve discovered I can be overly affectionate and yet so quick to lose my patience. I can flare up on a dime and give you nine cents change.
It’s funny that such a little creature can wear a grown man and woman out. We can’t keep up with her and she’s not even 10 days old. God help us.
It’s neat to see what generation 3.0 looks like. My wife being a 2.0 Indian American and myself being 2.0 Korean American. What lays in my lap is truly an embodied glimpse of the future — a real Asian American.
Although my wife and I know of only one other couple like ourselves, I realize that the odds are strikingly on the path that we’re on.
According to the 2000 Census Bureau statistics, of 2nd gen Korean American males, 63.2% marry within the ethnic group. But get this, a whopping 60% of 2nd gen Korean American women marry outside! Ask most Korean American women what they think of their male counterparts and you might get a rolling of the eyes and a quick “no way”.
For my wife, she was in the minority as well. 69.9% of Indian American (US born) marry within the ethnicity, but seeing as how 69.2% of Indian American (US born) males do the same, it seems that the outmarriage rate is similar. Want to see other numbers? Click here for my Google spreadsheet.
Ultimately what this means for Asian America is that a great number of the next generation is going to be mixed ethnically/racially. Paul Tokunaga addresses this very issue in his must-read book, “Invitation to Lead” on pg. 166:
One-third of all biracial or multiracial peopel in 2000 were biracial or multiracial Asians–Asian and at least one other ethnicity (2.1 million of 6.8 million). To put that in perspective, the largest Asian American group is Chinese Americans with 2.4 million. After them, biracial and multiracial Asian Americans are the second largest Asian American group!
I would add that they are potentially the first, truly “Asian American” (not nationally-bound) group. This can pose a great opportunity for ethnic-specific churches, but may be a burden to them as well. While we have pan-Asian churches popping up here and there (still mostly on the West Coast), it seems that campus groups are more accessible once this demographic reaches college age. But ethnic-specific churches can’t afford to ignore this group or defer their cultural and spiritual heritage to others who cannot inform them of their massive past. They are everywhere, quite literally in our laps.