Monday, August 08, 2011

In Stitches: Culture Shock

Anthony Youn's memoir In Stitches gives readers a look into the training of a medical doctor who discovers his passion is plastic surgery. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members postsinspired by In Stitches by Anthony Youn, M.D. on book club day, August 9 at From Left to Write.

First off, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book! It was a fun read! I couldn't help but think of myself in junior high when I read about his experiences growing as a Korean boy in white Michigan...I moved to diverse California in the 6th grade, coming from an all white, southern Illinois town of about 9,000. Can you say culture shock? My friends all told me that California was about to fall off North America (Most Californians have never heard this rumor!), so I was terrified about that. My Dad even told me they only ate fish in CA-and I hated fish! Once I started school, I was definitely out of place. What was cool in my small town wasn't so cool here. So many languages, so many nationalities! My new CA friends would tease me about my "accent"-I guess I said "pool" and "cool" with two syllables! When I think back to those days, I realize I was a very naive, sheltered child. Luckily, I think my own children are a lot more savvy!

But I did adapt, and now I wouldn't live in any other state. I think the diversity adds a lot to our state-traditions, cultures, food! I love reading about other cultures, and here I am right in the middle of it all. I read somewhere that America is not a "melting pot", but instead a "salad"-all different traditions and ways of life mixed in together. I like that imagery. As a parent, I've had fun incorporating new traditions for my kids that I have learned about, as well as following traditions from my own family (we are a mix of Hungarians and German, and my husband's family is mostly Italian).
What about you?


Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

My children are biracial and not only do we incorporate my Vietnamese culture, food, etc, we like learning about other cultures too.


I lived in Germany, New Mexico, North Carolina and Philadelphia during my about culture shock! I am so grateful for those experiences now, though, and find that it makes me a much more rounded adult...even though I totally didn't get that at the time!

Dr. Tony Youn said...

Thank you for reading my book! I love California too, having lived there for a year and with most of my family there. Los Angeles is like a second home to me!
Thanks again!