Comedian Julie Kim knows how to make light of tricky situations. Her take on her childhood with immigrant parents is heavy on immigrant humor incidents!
A child of immigrants
Julie had exposure to both English and Korean at home. This means Julie knows Korean, right? Wrong, she only knows the swear words. Julie reveals that her childhood chubbiness made her the butt of jokes both at home and at school. She recounts that she was “more fat than Asian” meaning that students would make fun of her weight more than her ethnicity. This is surprising because those same kids made racist jokes to the one Black student at her school.
The family strikes back
When she’d come home from school, her aunts would disrespectfully instruct her to diet as they lived by a “if you’ve got nothing nice to say, elaborate” lifestyle. On the bright side, according to Julie (who has now slimmed down) she’ll allow her daughter to eat to her heart’s desire because it’ll make her look skinnier in comparison. Life’s really all about perspective.
Immigrant humor – the light and the dark
Julie Kim has shown us a few of the challenges faced in growing up as a child of immigrants and struggling with her weight, but make no mistake, she knows how to laugh about it today. If you can relate, we’d love to hear about it!
Questions about immigrant humor to discuss on Ohlelo:
- What’s your experience growing up with immigrant parents?
- What were the most fun parts of your childhood?
- How did the kids act in school when you were young?
- If you experienced it, how did you deal with hate from others?
- How can we relate better to first-generation immigrants?