University of Southern California
Claiming My American Accent and My Indonesian Identity
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Indonesian-ness is hardly quantifiable, but per my parents, mine was a five out of ten. This poor rating stems mainly from my parents’ belief that second-generation immigrants, like myself, were diluted versions of an original product. Though I often refuted these claims, my actions hardly supported my counterarguments: eating with my “dirty” left hand, wearing shoes inside the house, and choosing fries over rice, for example. The summer before freshman year, these seemingly-minuscule annoyances had reached an apex; consequently, my parents took a keen interest in reviving my Indonesian identity. To resuscitate it, they arranged for Bahasa Indonesia tutoring while we visited family in Jakarta.
Although I had qualms about my parents’ claims about my Indonesian identity, I looked forward to the tutoring for learning’s sake, even waking up early in anticipation. With time to kill before my tutor came, I waited in the living room where eyang uti, my grandma, roared with laughter at a woman on the TV. I barely understood a word but laughed along regardless, hoping to generate some facsimile of understanding. Catching the slight lag between the audience’s laughter and mine, uti smiled and explained using the Indonesian-English hybrid...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1521 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10547 literature essays, 2653 sample college application essays, 565 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in