Meme groups HM students love: subtle asian dating

Talia Winiarsky, Staff Writer

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The Facebook group “Subtle Asian Traits” frequently discusses K-pop, bubble tea, anime, and other relatable topics for Asian Facebook users.

In the group, 1.34 million people with many differences, including age, language, and location, are united by their Asian heritage.

The group has at least ten thousand posts per week, including pictures, memes, polls, and videos. According to a statement on the group’s page, all content must be approved by one of the moderators or administrators.

Dozens of the members are students at the school, most of whom are upperclassmen, Chris Ha (11), a member of the group, said.

The group was formed in September of this year, and quickly gained a reputation as a funny and relatable page, Isha Agarwal (11), who joined the group this past winter, said.

Agarwal enjoys feeling as though she’s a part of a large community, she said. “There are people from all over the world celebrating their Asian heritage in one Facebook group,” she said.

For Euwan Kim (11), the page is a refreshing mix of Asian-Americans compared to the Asian-American community at school. “The school prides itself on being diverse, but has a specific pool of Asian-Americans, who are mostly very privileged,” she said.

Because the group’s target audience is Asian-American teens, it is more relatable than broader meme pages, Gabby Fischberg (10) said.

“There are very specific experiences of growing up in an Asian household that a lot of others have experienced that I was surprised to see,” she said. Some of the posts that Fischberg has related to include ones about Filipino food and Asian parent culture, she said.

However, some posts can be problematic. Kim doesn’t approve of posts that perpetuate Asian stereotypes.  “Memes about stereotypes debilitate the hard work many Asian Americans have done to eradicate stereotypes,” she said.

“One of the posts that made me uncomfortable asked, ‘What does your parent beat you with?’ which is a common characteristic of Asian culture. This isn’t something that we should be laughing at,” Brigette Kon (11) said.

Kon investigated the nuances of the group for her Junior Research Project, and concluded that the benefits of the group are outweighed by its drawbacks, she said.

Ben Hu (12) has noticed that most of the posts pertain to East-Asian people, and therefore, people of South-East-Asian descent can’t relate to the page as much, he said.

In response, members of Subtle Asian Traits formed the “Subtle Curry Traits” spin-off group for members of the South-Asian diaspora, Hu said.

Ha is not a very active participant in the group but appreciates being a part of community with people who can empathize with his experiences. “Growing up Asian is an experience that only Asian people can have and understand,” Ha said.