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One day at her private high school, her teacher discovered she didn’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese at home, but Shanghainese — one of more than 100 dialects.“He stopped the whole class and asked if everyone knew there was a different dialect,” she said.Some people in the group have criticized Subtle Asian Traits for being too focused on the Chinese and Vietnamese diaspora.“We have noticed that, we’re not going to deny that,” said Ms.Six of the nine founders of the Facebook group “Subtle Asian Traits,” in Melbourne, Australia.From left: Brendan Wang, 18, Anny Xie, 17, Darren Qiang, 17, Kathleen Xiao, 18, Angela Kang, 21 Tony Xie, 17.“It’s so hard because part of us wants to fit in and be in the crowd and be like them,” said Ms. “I’ve felt sad about who we are, where we come from, and just the identity that we hold.”And in Subtle Asian Traits, those differences are not so different after all; they’re the norm.
“Everyone understands.”Anne Gu recalled a memory that reflects the kind of experiences driving the group.
SYDNEY, Australia — The Facebook group was supposed to be a fun distraction from high school exams.
Its creators, a crew of Melbourne students who had bonded over weekends in Chinese language school, had noticed a Facebook group called “Subtle Private School Traits.” They started joking about their own experiences: the struggles and joys of being a first-generation immigrant.
Justine Humphry, a lecturer in digital cultures at the University of Sydney.
The simple act itself of sharing a meme and being able to decode it positions people as insiders within a culture, she added.“Those kinds of practices — of sharing and creating jokes that are readable within a community — are actually very, very powerful,” she said.