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I wasn't born here, English wasn't my first language. Outside of my house it was America, 1997, inside: Seoul, Korea, circa 1967. The world had nothing to do with what went on in my home. My parents spoke Korean, ate Korean food, watched Korean television and outside, I had a sexy skater boyfriend, I wore blue eyeliner, I snuck out to the mall and generally tried my best to not look as different as I felt.

My Life (Translated)
Episode 2
Behind the scenes photos
There was never a book, a magazine, a movie, a television show that spoke to my experience as a bicultural teen. I could find a million articles on finding the perfect prom dress or getting the guy of your dreams, but how about "Ten Sure Fire Steps to Being the Perfect Korean Daughter and Not Be a Freak at Your High School." That would have been really helpful.

My freshman year in high school, I tried out for the cheerleading squad. I know, I don't know what I was thinking. Well, needless to say, I didn't make it, I didn't even make it through the tryouts, they cut me before I even had a chance to make an ass out of myself. I cried for weeks. My mother's response?

"I don't know why you wanted to be in a dance group anyway."

That pretty much sums up how I communicated with my parents when I was growing up.

"My Life (Translated)" is a documentary series about the lives of multi cultural young people. It deals with friends, family, love and school and all of the tricky spaces between those words. Itís about being caught between two different cultures, and struggling to do what your parents expect you to do and what you really want to do.

But this isnít a show about trying to be American and forgetting where youíre from — itís about young people wanting to be both. I wanted to find others like me, who wanted to keep their culture and be American at the same time, not picking one or the other. I never once, not in the many rants and fits and arguments with my family, thought to just rebel and separate myself from being Korean. Itís a trend, people are recognizing it everywhere nowóthe concept, the look, the definition of ďAmericanĒ is changing. Every day I read an article or see something that reminds me this country, the next generation is changing. I just read an article in USA Today, recently that said by 2050 more people will speak Spanish in this country than English. I saw an article in the New York Times not too long ago, talking about how advertisers are looking for different faces, ones that reflect the multicultural realities of our generation. I just got this book about a new term that seems to fit the cultural shift weíre living in. Theyíre calling it Transculture — the idea that we live in many cultures at once (check out www.transculturalism.com).

But itís not just a show about geographical or racial cultures, itís about youth culture, itís about every single young person who struggles with the culture of their parents and their own identity. It has just as much to do with all of us, starting our lives as independent young adults and still dealing with parents who just donít understand.

Everyone will find themselves reflected in this show and I hope the voice is true, honest and real.


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