10 Things Not to Say to an Asian

  1. Do your parents speak English? No, they kind of wave their arms around and point at things while grunting.
  2. So do you like eat rice every day? So do you like eat fat every day?
  3. When did you come to this country? How do you know I wasn’t born here?
  4. Do you eat Asian food? While assuming we eat every type of Asian food you can think of IS annoying… also asking us obvious questions such as this one is pretty lame as well.
  5. Is that your dad? (points at random Asian man) No, is that your dad? (points at the first person he sees… man or woman.)
  6. Do you celebrate Chinese New Year’s? Do I look Chinese? Wait… don’t answer that. I SAID DON’T ANSWER THAT!
  7. Could you suggest a good Asian restaurant to go to? Sure, try The Drunken Chinese Chopstick Eating Dragon Wonton. I hear it is excellent!
  8. Go back to your country! If I did that who would do your math homework?
  9. What is the easiest Asian language to take for college credit… I just want to pass! Chinese is so easy and takes little effort. Go and be a star!
  10. Can you show me real quick how to use these chopsticks? How about I show you how to use a fork instead… deal?

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48 Responses to 10 Things Not to Say to an Asian

  1. jreidy17 says:

    Things my new Korean pen pal said to me (an American woman). I did not take offense.
    1. How many languages do you speak?
    2. Do you eat bread every day?
    3. Have you ever been to Korea? No? How soon will you visit?
    4. Do you eat Korean food?
    5. Do you live with your mom? (I’m 50 years old & divorced)
    6. Do you celebrate White Day?
    7. Can you recommend a hotel I should stay at on my trip to the US? How much should it cost?
    8. All the people who come to teach English in Korea are incompetent and should go back to their country.
    9. What is the easiest way to learn English? Will you tutor me for free 5 days a week so I can pass my English exam?
    10. I have an idea for a business. You are a computer programmer. Can you create a website and start the business for me? (unpaid, of course)

    Perhaps some of what you take as racial stereotyping is just people trying to make conversation with you. They might never have traveled to Asia or had a best friend who was Asian. They might never have had a reason to study about Asia. Asking questions might be the start of curiosity about Asian culture.

    Of course, world has stupid people and some folks are just jerks, but I fear when people become so sensitive to racial issues that they fail to see the individual who might be trying to be your friend.

  2. Ray H says:

    Has anyone really said 5. to you?? Wow.

    8. is harsh, sorry…

  3. danielccooper says:

    Reblogged this on Voyage To Asia and commented:
    Quite a funny, and light article. I did enjoy 🙂

  4. danielccooper says:

    hahahahahaha, what a funny and light article. Allow me to share it on my blog Voyagetoasia.com I’m sure my readers will like it as well 🙂

  5. rudyhou says:


  6. Thanks for the smile….#7 hilarious!!

  7. mochixoshi says:

    Reblogged this on Peach Blogs and commented:
    Listen to these wise words!

  8. Beyondspaces says:

    Interesting..I will like to add Rice is staple diet in Asian countries just like Potatoes in the west! I am an Asian btw. I like the post!

  9. Russel DDK says:

    You have a natural talent of interlacing your writing with subtle wit that always seems to unobtrusively register in the reader’s conscience. It’s amazing how most of your posts reflect these witty hints.

  10. jreidauthor says:

    LOL…And I thought I got a lot of dumb questions. Like “You listen to [insert name of any rapper], right? What does he mean when he says [insert any vulgar utterance]?”

  11. sothislife says:

    If it weren’t so sad I’d laugh. My second husband was Chinese and I was asked many of these questions. My Answers:
    1. They don’t speak speak southern but English is perfect, also Cantonese and Mandrarin.
    2. No I hate rice.
    3. There is no such thing as Asian food, each Asian Country has it’s own food.
    4. give them are they are really dumb look.
    5. replace with his father and reply with the you are really dumb look.
    6. you’re dumb look again since I already answered the Chinese question.
    7. Yes, but you won’t get what the family gets unless you learn to speak one of the Chinese languages.
    8. This started with the should….I said they are in it.
    9. Love your answer…..mine was none.
    10. they received another are you really that dumb look.

    My Grandfather was Native American…my cousin son looks just like him…you should here the questions he’s asked….lol.

    My family has manage to have at least one of every ethnic group, makes for fun family pictures and dumb questions.

    My immediate family consisted of a blond, blue eyed bother with really fair skin, me with red hair and medium skin tone, my sister with olive skin, dark brown hair, slight slant to her eyes, olive skin (people always asked if she was Asian).
    Everyone asked if we were adopted…they always got are you dumb look.

    I’m quite good with are you that dumb look.

  12. My wife is Asian, she said she’s tired of people quoting meditation or yoga. Then saying to her “But I’m sure you already know this” my best friend is Chinese he’s tired of people asking if he knows another Chinese person.

  13. poet816 says:

    Reblogged this on Idiocy Today and commented:
    hThis is really funny. I’d expain, but I can’t see what I’m writing on this color scheme. !!

  14. I’ve definitely seen all of these play out. It’s so obnoxious. This was a fun read!

  15. Jay Dee says:

    I’m a white guy in Japan, so I get this a lot, too. Just the other way around. Everyone assumes I’m American, speak English. I’m Canadian, though. Also, everyone’s shocked that I can use chopsticks, eat raw fish, and understand around 400 Chinese characters, as well as read the native Japanese characters. I’ve been here 9 years. I sure as hell better be able to do those things!

  16. I’m white but grew up in Flushing in the biggest Korean population in the United States, and I could definitely understand and laugh at a lot of this list.

  17. haefennasiel says:

    2 things (there’s more, but I haven’t thought about them yet) NOT to ask Filipinos:
    1) Do you like boxing / Manny Pacquiao? (Do you mean I like this crude, barbaric sport? Of course, I do! Do I admire this man and his tacky, materialistic folks? Yesyesyes!)
    2) Do you play basketball? (Naturally! I don’t let the fact I’m below 5 feet stop me!)

    This is all kinds of LOL, Mr. OM! =3

  18. Reblogged this on Just Wait and See and commented:
    So many levels of understanding and only my mother is Filipino.

  19. I’m an Asian living in Southeast Asia. The funny part?

    Many of my um… “compatriots” ask the same questions to North Asians (Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, possibly Mongolians) who come here. Except maybe the rice part. Everyone eats rice in the Philippines.

    And we usually eat with a spoon and fork. Yes, I know swapping a knife for a spoon might be kinda dumb but it’s just the way we are.

    • Now that is amusing. Asians are generally the most racist against eachother here in the states. 🙂

      • Indeed. I read that often.

        I think one of the biggest problems people have with other cultures is that we tend to lump together ideas that otherwise belong to distinct cultures. Asides from the Asian stereotype, people tend to assume things that are similar about Africans even though, say, Nigerian culture being distinct from Zimbabwean culture. As for Europeans, you can easily note the similarity between Portuguese, Spanish and Italian people. Then there’s the huge similarity between Scandinavians.

        In the Philippines, there are some people who tend to lump together Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians as “Kastila” (people from the castles) even though that word is supposed to specifically refer to Spaniards. It’s the same way they lump us Asians together as “Chinese”.

  20. One of my friends told me, she was asked if she liked Hello Kitty…

  21. syravannyang says:

    Is it “10 things not to say to an Asian” or “10 things not to say to a Chinese”? I’m an Asian too, hehe..

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