In today’s media-saturated society, meme culture has become an integral part of millennials’ daily social interaction. If you’re a millennial, hopefully, you know what a meme is – but for those who don’t, a meme often takes the form of an image along with a humorous or witty caption, usually making fun of a concept, a social phenomenon, or just something random in our daily life. A good meme can go viral on various social media platforms and be passed on through “tagging” as well as imitation.
For me, scrolling through Facebook in search of memes to tag my friends in is definitely part of my daily routine. Many of the memes I come across are from pages such as 9gag, Meme Society and NYU Memes for Slightly Bankrupt Teens (*school pride*). This has changed recently, as my Facebook feed has become bombarded by even funnier and more relatable memes posted in a closed Facebook group – Subtle Asian Traits: a meme page originally designed for Asian Australians. In the past few weeks, the page has gone viral (racking up around 500,000 members so far), inviting Asian immigrants from all over the world to connect through Asian-specific meme posting and tagging.
Subtle Asian Traits is full of posts making fun of Asian stereotypes (some may perceive it as self-hating, yet I personally think being able to make fun of one’s insecurities could be the most powerful way of owning them), throwback posts to nostalgic childhood memories, as well as posts using word plays and puns in various East Asian languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean.
What makes Subtle Asian Traits so powerful is how nostalgic it makes people feel; the sense of collectiveness it offers to the Asian immigrant community not only makes us laugh but also reminds us that we’re part of a community. One critique I have, however, is that most of the posts are Chinese-speaking heavy–it would be nice to see more language and culture diversity within the posts. Overall though, it’s a great page to check out if you’re looking for a laugh. Check out some of my personal favorite memes, below: