Ethnicity in Locality

Crazy Rich Asian is an important film for us culturally. At shallow view, it may seems only a generic romantic comedy by a generic director who happens to be an Asian. But, for us to look further, there are new views that not only important to Asian American, but also Indonesian and all the people of the world.

If you watch closely, it also define a problem about one ethnic, Chinese descendants that would culturally different. A Singaporean Chinese, a China Chinese (in diaspora), British Chinese and an American Chinese would have different culture and thought.

The China Chinese, the Grandma, is only capable of talking in Mandarin. She also hold her cultural background tightly. This hold dearly because I experience it myself. As a Bataknese, I also saw the first generation diaspora (my father and his brothers/sisters) hold their Batak tradition tightly.  They even more culturally connected than the people in their origin.

Yes, Bataknese in the North Sumatera hold their culture not as strong as these first generation diaspora. I think the factor of nostalgia and having roots is what made them hold tight. Ethnic networking in diaspora is more connected than in the origin.

The Singaporean Chinese that have 5 cs also hold their own ways. These young generation have the problem of defining life and pride. It often also related to how relationship would end (without giving away spoiler). Some pride would made them rude. Some pride would made them buy things as they wish. Some pride also made them inferior. Some pride made them a crazy fun friend to hangout with.

The British and American accent also made this film colorful. Even if they are from so called "The West", they are culturally different kind of "West". They may have different kind of view of life.

To me as Indonesian, this movie really hit the heart. How often my country, thanks from the Colonialism, persecute Chinese descendants. We often generalise them when they aren't even from one place and even one view.

No, you can't judge a Chinese or a Bataknese generally. We are often built from where we are born and raised. That's why we should learn that no matter the ethnic one hold, it is the locality that matters.

Crazy Rich Asian is the best movie to learn diversity in an ethnic. That's why, I think the importance is not about its story, but the background of its characters possessed.


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