Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

CCks React to Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”

Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” follows a young Indian American man, Dev, who is the first generation in his family to live in the United States. Dev is modeled after Ansari himself whose parents immigrated from India. The show tackles many experiences faced by Cross-cultural Kids (CCks) in an authentic way.

Photo courtesy of Julia Tegethoff.

I sat down and talked with two CCks about their reaction to the show. We specifically talked about the episode “Parents.” The episode follows Dev and his first generation friend whose dad immigrated from Taiwan talk. They converse about having parents who are immigrants. Finally the two friends sit down and eat with their parents and ask about their immigration stories.

“The episode was really cool because it was neat for them to talk to their parents like that,” said Julia Tegethoff whose dad immigrated to the United States from Brazil.

The episode reminds her of her parents and grandparents.

Recently, she was complaining about putting oil in her car because she would have to find a funnel. This is how he responded:

“When I was your age, I left my f@!&ing country and you can’t go out and buy a 25 cent funnel,” Tegethoff said.

Her dad came from Brazil at age 19 with 200 dollars and didn’t speak English. He faced a lot of racism but worked super hard. She considers him the “American dream.”

“He downplays it so much,” Tegethoff continued.

After watching the episode she realized that a lot of immigrant parents don’t talk about their experience that much.

“That’s what I like about the ‘Parents’ episode, you can sense that a lot of people understand what they’re addressing but it’s never something that’s explicitly talked about,” said Collin Orr, whose dad immigrated from Canada to the United States and whose grandparents immigrated from Scotland to Canada.

“My dad has never held it against us, but expects us to work hard,” Tegethoff reflected.

Orr thinks the show is “unlike any other shows on TV.”

Both Tegethoff and Orr do not obviously look like their parents’ culture. Aziz isn’t passing. He looks Indian.

“I could walk around and people may not know my dad is from Brazil,” Tegethoff said.

Aziz has a different perspective because of his race, but also has a good platform to share his experiences.

“This is giving voice to a generation of cross cultural kids,” Orr said.

Both Orr and Tegethoff can’t wait for season three of “Master of None.”

By: zjennings

Zoe Jennings is a writer who is interested in telling human-interest stories. She grew up in the U.S. and Latvia. She has visited 22 countries. She loves journalism and hopes to write fiction someday. Jennings loves the outdoors, music and connecting with people. She has studied history and journalism at the university level.