Category Archives: Jenna Ushkowitz

The Beautiful Sea of Adoptees

After 44 years of puzzled looks and numerous questions about my family medical history, I have found my gang.

My gang is a group of people who are diverse. They are varied. Some are angry. Some are witty. Some are awesome … like this young man.

Some have revolutionized the lives of many like this man.

Some entertain us each week.

Some are less in the spotlight but even more inspirational. They have adopted their own children. They continue to care for other adoptees by leading groups of adoptive families. They travel and speak to adoptive families.

They foster a love of the arts in school children. They are the birth children of adoptees who have committed their lives to supporting future adoptees.

All have entered my life in the last two years. I am grateful for this enriching wave of people … this sea of adoptees.

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Gangnam Style makes us all feel Korean … or not.

Today, Gangnam Style, a video by the artist PSY has hit more than 835 million views. It is the most watched video of our time.

Interestingly, this video on its own has opened up the Korean culture to mainstream. As a middle-aged woman, I first heard about this song at the ChuSeok celebration this past September. At which time, my twelve-year-old son gave me the “Seriously, Mom, you haven’t heard this?” look.

So now, it has finally reached my sphere and entered Glee. This week, the Glee cast will perform their version of this song.

The question this brings to my mind is “How does Jenna Ushkowitz feel in all this?” The actress is a Korean adoptee, like myself. From this snippet, it appears that she feels somewhat out of place trying to learn the correct Korean pronunciation.

Here is a glimpse of what we all as Asian adoptees feel at some point in our lives. We desperately feel that we are just like any other American. Yet, we are lumped in the Asian category, and in Ushkowitz case, we are typecast as the Asian student … overachiever, dating within our race, going to “Asian” camp.

We aren’t as simplified as that, but the media portrays us all as stereotypes to some degree. To be fair, Glee works in these stereotypes for all its characters.

I’ll sit back this week and enjoy the Glee version of Gangnam Style with Jenna Ushkowitz giving it her best Korean performance! Perhaps we will see more character development as well.

So, it’s hip to be Korean, at least to dance to Gangnam Style!