The Next GenerAsian

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.

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Comments

  1. djchuang says:

    Congratulations my friend and new Daddy! Daniel (So) and I were deliberating whether we shoulda blogged in your absence, something along the lines of WWDS: what would David say? 🙂 We kicked around all kinds of topics while you were on paternity leave from your blog, but you’ve broken thru with your own authentic voice. welcome back, and thrilled to see you as thoughtful as ever, albeit self-described tired.

  2. David Park says:

    Thanks DJ for the well wishes! I miss our conversations and yet can’t seem to find the right times to connect. Hope you’re doing well…you seem pretty busy! As always, wish I could be there with you, but love the work you do. I’ll try to keep things up on my end. It’s great having the chance to talk some of this stuff out in seminary where others are challenging and shaping some of my theology. Hope to talk to you soon. As late as it is right now, I have to work on some exegesis of I Samuel. Don’t you miss those days? Joy and peace…

  3. Josh says:

    oh man, I had no idea! Guess that explains the absence. Congratulations man, what a blessing!

  4. David Park says:

    thanks josh! Being a dad rocks…it’s tiring, but it’s totally another “level” of happy.

  5. me says:

    congrats again david.

    your child…is the one.
    get her ready for the presidency of the USA in 2054.

  6. jadanzzy says:

    David,

    I’m coming over to see the baby.

  7. MrPages says:

    She’s absolutely gorgeous, David, congratulations to both of you… all three of you!

    Careful… that feeling is addictive. Bet you can’t stop at just one. 🙂

  8. bolim says:

    David & Sunita,
    Congratulations. She’s beautiful. Isn’t it amazing how one little person can wear two adults out? Hang in there – this time will pass. Enjoy these days – this time will pass.

    Peace

  9. David Park says:

    thank you all~ I’m enjoying being a father. may it teach me to be a better son and friend.

  10. James says:

    Congrats! We just went through the same thing seven months ago with our son, Isaiah. My wife and I can’t believe how big he already is! Happy parenting. There’s no transition like this one, that’s for sure!

  11. peterong says:

    with warmest regards from the east coast brother. congratulations…praying with my knees on sacred ground for you guys

  12. anakainosis says:

    Awesome. Congratulations, and great post. I wonder not only at the existence of this multiracial “true” Asian American ethnic group, but what trends will emerge. With a new generation comes new issues, new racial perceptions, new struggles of heritage, new unique strengths to be discovered.

    Or will the mighty tide of assimilation roll over the Asian-Americans of future generations? Is there an alternate destination of post-immigrant generations?

    In the meantime, I endeavor to not be a “no way” Korean-American male. =)

    And in the meantime, I celebrate your new addition. I envy your opportunity to know the Father’s heart, encoded on our own instincts and emotional responses to biological progeny.

    Also, your dog’s tail is mad strong.

  13. Melvin Bray says:

    i didn’t know you were expecting! congratulations, my friend! she’s beautiful… and attentive, like her father.

  14. Letitia says:

    God has blessed your new trio of a family! Beautiful.

    *Letitia*

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