I’M JASMIN SHIM. I CO-HOST A PODCAST CALLED MADE IN WITH EVY KWONG, WHERE WE SHARE STORIES AND EXPERIENCES FROM THE ASIAN DIASPORA. OUR EPISODES RANGE FROM DEBRIEFING WHAT HAPPENED AT THE OSCARS WITH MINARI’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH TO HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH AS AN ASIAN WOMEN TO INTERVIEWING AMAZING GUESTS WHO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES OF GROWING UP AS AN ASIAN AMERICAN/CANADIAN FROM A DIVERSE BACKGROUND.
Evy and I started this podcast in hopes of creating a safe space where people from the Asian community can have a place to share their stories that are often not covered or talked about in the mainstream media but acknowledge these experiences are real. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and wanted to share a few musts to keep in mind when creating a community.
CREATING A SAFE SPACE
Embarking on a journey to create a space to talk about topics that are often not talked about was quite daunting! It was crucial to be vulnerable and candid while sharing our experiences and to create a safe space for our listeners to join in on the conversation. We wanted our listeners to feel like they’re sitting in the room with us as they listen to the episode and feel comfortable enough to send us a message after with any thoughts that came up while listening. This comes with creating a judgement-free zone and openness to accept all POV’s of the community and sharing our own failed attempts and faults.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to talking about the Asian experience. I’m a 1.5 generation Korean immigrant to Canada and Evy is Canadian-born and raised Chinese. Although we may share similar experiences, there are many intersections that come into play. On the podcast, we prioritize highlighting these intersections to show a diverse representation to what it is to be Asian and make sure to amplify these stories.
I often re-think about hosting a podcast because I’m a self-diagnosed over-sharer. I saw this Tweet once where it said they will pay good money to spread a rumor that I’m a private person and I never related to something so much. When I have these doubts about opening up about my personal experiences in sensitive areas like inter-racial dating to mother-daughter relationships, I remind myself of how helpful it would’ve been for me to hear candid conversations around topics that I hold close to my heart. We don’t have many examples in movies or TV shows that capture the coming-of-age nuances as an Asian so if my story can help someone feel less alone and lost, it’s something I will happily embrace.
ACCEPTING YOUR PAST SELF
Chatting through stories that I buried away in my teenage years has helped me validate the gaps in knowledge and resources growing up, which played a huge part in influencing my experiences. Coming to accept and forgive my younger self for throwing away the Korean lunches my mom packed for me was the shift I needed in order to move forward in paving the way for the younger generation of Asians to grow into a culture where embracing your heritage is cool!
HAVING OWNERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Hosting a podcast doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in the subject. God knows, we sure aren’t. The beauty of having an unpolished, candid and genuine conversation about topics is one of the charms of our podcast. Taking ownership and acknowledging the ever-growing process of learning/unlearning of the community is important to address because we are always learning!
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Have you considered starting your own podcast? Let us know in the comments below and or on social media by tagging us @itsmaryyoung.