Letter from the Editor
As we were crafting this issue, one question stuck in our minds: were there pieces of content we could publish that could reflect the experience of the full Asian community? Does the “Asian community” really exist?
For example, I think we could be doing better with the vegetarian food on campus. Indian vegetarians make up a substantial proportion of vegetarians on campus, yet the vegetarian options in dining halls often integrate mock meats, which may not work for some who are vegetarian by religion. Attempts at serving Indian food as a vegetarian dish often lead to frankly bizarre recreations with obscure proteins or vegetables that don’t belong in the dish. That’s a problem tied to an Asian identity, yet can it reflect the “community”?
There are spaces on campus where there’s a single Asian community. And there are spaces where there are innumerable separate communities. There are problems that all Asians on campus share – first-generation, second-generation, Korean, Pakistani, Malaysian, Tajik. And there are problems and stories unique to a sub-community, or just a single person. There are Asian stories that The Daily Princetonian has been covering for years. And there are those that have sadly been left out.
This issue is clearly not comprehensive. It barely scratches the surface. But we hope that it tells some stories that we haven’t in the past, and reflects the diversity of Asian and Asian-American communities on campus.
We’ve devoted a significant section of this project to the experiences of international students: both those from Asia and around the world. International students play a key role in Asian communities on campus, both in the past and in the present, and the unique challenges of international students in a changing economy and turbulent world cannot be ignored.
As you read through this issue, consider the untold stories as well, enough to fill a second special issue, and a third. If our communities were small or homogeneous enough to fit in a single issue, they’d be much less worth maintaining.