Ask Jeremy where he’s from, and that in itself is a tough question to answer.
Born in California, moved to Thailand when he was 6, then to Malaysia, then back to Thailand, then back to California for college, and in all that time, he managed to travel everywhere from the Arctic Circle to Down Under and learned 0 new languages. His parents, being of different ethnicities and meeting in the United States naturally had him speaking English with broken words in both languages (from being scolded). Visiting the U.S. every summer left him with a yearning to be very American and at the same time his family pressured their traditions on him. But, being Asian in the 90’s was all about fitting in and not bringing too much attention to your heritage. This unique struggle helped shape his perspectives on many cultures today. Ask him about a country or ethnicity and he probably has an opinion or experience about it 😝. Maybe it’s better not to ask.
But what he did gain from his childhood and growing up all over the world, is a diverse collection of experiences and cultures. And as a Third Culture Kid “or TCK”, a person raised in countries that are not their homeland aka. Global Nomads – the world is their home.
Don’t let the fact that he’s a white guy from a small Norwegian town in Wisconsin fool you. James took Chinese in college, lived in Taiwan teaching English for four years (while becoming fluent in Mandarin), and after moving back to the U.S., met his wife (who is Taiwanese) in grad school.
He works in multicultural marketing with a focus on the Asian American segment, but his real focus is on his family as he has two kids (11 and 13) who naturally are exposed to U.S. customs, holidays and traditions by growing up in California, but he and his wife have pledged to do all they can to ensure they are just as close to the Chinese side of their heritage. Thus, their first language in the family is Chinese and they speak it not only in the home, but when we go out as well. If the kids want to ask a question, it’s in Chinese. If they want to have a conversation in the car, it’s in Chinese. And it’s not forced… but is just the language that they naturally speak to their mom and dad. There have been many times when others have done a double take at James (a blond hair, blue eyed white guy from Wisconsin) when speaking Chinese to his kids while in a restaurant or at the farmer’s market, and sometimes people will approach him about it with questions and we’ll have a nice conversation. But they’re generally just curious about what they’re speaking or how they learned it and how two cultures have formed their families’ Asian American traditions and duality.
This blend of perspectives is what James bring to his Dose contributions.
Born and raised in China, Angel left home for college in the United States at the age of 16. Two decades later, she is now the perfect depiction of a bicultural Asian American. When she speaks Chinese, she still sounds like that well-mannered, shy Asian teenager. When she switches to English, her bold, opinionated and fearless inner beast comes right out. 100% American, and 100% Chinese.
As a strategist of color, Angel is keenly aware of the vast amount of data on every topic except for Asian Americans. The insight she derived from personal experiences often lacks the supporting data, or even an article she can reference to. Just like how Asians are under-represented in media, there is a vast information gap on Asian American culture. That’s why she started Dose of Asianess.
Because of Angel’s wide range of skill set across brand strategy and communications planning, she pledged to write about every aspect of Asian Americans’ life. From cultural traditions to modern struggles, from tech usage to pop culture moments, the topics she chose cover a wide spectrum. She believes there is no better way to start filling the gap by weaving Asian American culture into relatable everyday life. After all, we share more similarities than differences.
Angel now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their toddler son. She will continue to support this initiative, especially now she has her own Asian American to nurture and guide.