Pixar’s Bao… Why Asian Americans Get It.

[Post Contains Spoilers]

Pixar’s #Bao, the short film that precedes #Incredibles2, is now the center of evolving discussions around cultural competence. There are polarized reactions from different cultural and racial groups. What was touching for some was confusing for perhaps many more.

As Asian Americans, we got it.

For 1st generation Asian immigrants, Bao reminds them of their parents – living far away in Asia and missing their children. For Chinese American Millennials, this emotion particularly intensifies because they are often their parents’ only child.

For 2nd generation American-born Asians, Bao can be a vivid retelling of a childhood memory, perhaps even a painfully effective guilt trigger.

But as a common result, Bao is visceral, and drives us to appreciate our once overly-protective and strict Asian parents, and the weight of their love.

Yes, the Bao is eaten in the end. It is a metaphor, and a brutally honest portrayal of the importance of food as a medium of affection in Asian culture.

Among all the online discussions about Bao, we see different opinions and debates, and it is good. Confusions are a good starting point that leads to open discussion and better understanding – the core spirit of cultural competence that is fiercely needed in today’s society.

Like or share this, if you agree with us. By the way, Bao, besides meaning “Dumpling”, also means “Dear Baby” in Mandarin.