The Best Asian Memes – Subtle Asian Traits
We all enjoy memes a little more than we’d care to admit.
As an Asian American, one of my favourite sources of memes is the wildly popular Subtle Asian Traits page on Facebook.
Today we are going to take a deeper look at who they are, how they started, and of course, some of their best memes.
Let’s get stuck in…
Subtle Asian Traits – What is it?
Subtle Asian Traits – How It All Started
Subtle Asian Traits – More Than Just Jokes
Subtle Asian Traits – Difficulties and Criticism
Subtle Asian Traits – Spinoffs of Subtle Asian Traits
Subtle Asian Traits – My Experience
Subtle Asian Traits – Memes
What is “Subtle Asian Traits”?
This Facebook page is dedicated to memes, pictures, videos, and even posts asking for advice, all pertaining to the Asian experience.
Most members are overseas Asians, some are Asians living in Asian countries, and a few members aren’t Asian at all.
The group is open to anyone who relates to the Asian experience. So some non-Asian members have Asian significant others, or some, as might be the case with you, live in an Asian country.
Many Asian ethnicities are represented on the page, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Filipinos, just to name a few. Many posts are in both English and another Asian language. The page is not only a way to share a laugh with your friends, but also a way to learn about other cultures and share about your own.
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Subtle Asian Traits – The Beginning
The group started in September 2018, when a group of high school students in Sydney, Australia were looking for distraction from their exams.
The original creators of the group were friends from Chinese language school and created the page, inspired by another Facebook group called “Subtle Private School Traits”.
They didn’t expect the page to take off, but since its beginning, its members have grown to more than 1.7 million, a staggering amount.
Members from all over the world have joined in sharing pictures and jokes, including people from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.
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More Than Just Jokes
While the vast majority of the posts on the page are jokes or memes, some content goes beyond a quick laugh.
Many Asians on the page relate to being immigrants or children of immigrants in non-Asian countries. This shared experience has helped to bring people together to encourage and empower each other.
Some posts on the page are related to a strict upbringing, an experience that many young Asians relate to. Some members have opened up and shared about their parents not accepting them or their career choices. Other posts ask for advice, some even share recipes or ask if others have also undergone a certain experience.
The page’s power comes from a community of people who have a common thread of shared experiences and can relate to each other without feeling the need to over-explain.
As one of the co-founders expressed, many overseas Asians must balance their Asian heritage with the culture of the country they grew up in.
Difficulties and Criticism
Despite its tremendous success, the page has also faced criticism. Some have accused the page of over-representing East Asian culture and under-representing South Asian culture.
Others have accused the page of jokes centreed around self-hate or even being racist against white people or other races.
Certainly administrators of the page do their best to keep inappropriate humor from being posted.
All posts must first be approved, and group rules clearly state that discrimination, hate speech, and bullying are not allowed, while being inclusive, civil, and kind is highly encouraged.
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Spinoffs of Subtle Asian Traits
Subtle Asian Traits has been so popular that offshoots of the page have also been successful, although not nearly has successful as the original page.
For example, Subtle Asian Dating (or SAD), is another popular page among the young Asian online community.
With over half a million members, the SAD page follows the Subtle Asian Traits page the mostly closely in terms of the amount of members.
While the SAD page posts all kinds of memes about dating and relationships, its characteristic post are “auction” posts, where friends will “auction off” other friends as dating material, by listing their pros and cons, and what they’re looking for in a partner.
SAD success stories are also posted, of couples who have found each other because of their auction on the page!
If you’d like to follow Subtle Asian Dating, find them here, or search “Subtle Asian Dating” on Facebook.
Other offshoots include Subtle Christian Traits, Subtle Korean Traits, and Subtle Curry Traits.
They also boast their own Instagram page, although with just under 100 thousand followers, it certainly hasn’t been as popular as its Facebook counterpart.
Subtle Asian Traits – My Experience
I was invited to the page soon after it first started.
As a Chinese American, the Subtle Asian Traits page has helped me feel like I’m a part of a larger community.
I grew up in the Midwest and didn’t have many friends who shared an ethnic background with me.
So for me, the group has not only been a frequent source of laughs, but has also helped me realize that I’m not alone in trying balance both Western and Eastern aspects of my culture.
I‘ve even had “aha!” moments, where I discovered that a certain aspect of my family’s lifestyle is distinctly Chinese. For example, I never realized that the tomato and egg dish (番茄炒蛋) that my mom always cooks is Chinese until I joined the page!
Top Rated Memes
Since we’ve been talking about a meme page, I certainly couldn’t end this blog without sharing some recently posted memes from the page.
If you frequent the page, as I have, you’ll notice that there are a lot of common themes that run through the posts.
A big one is bubble tea, something that Asians from many countries enjoy. Other themes include the Asian glow and lactose intolerance.
Popular posts can receive several thousand likes and comments. If you think the memes are funny, check out the Subtle Asian Traits page here, or search “Subtle Asian Traits” on Facebook!
You can also find them on Instagram here.
As a side note, links to the original posts are provided, but you may need to first join the page in order to view them.
Some posts aren’t memes, but rather polls to see how Asians relate to certain experiences, like this one about youtiao (油条), a deep-fried snack common throughout China.
This post is captioned, “Trying to settle a feud and see if this is a mando/canto divide or if my friend is just plain WRONG!
also, left = soy milk, right = congee! seeing some confusion in the comments”
If you enjoyed these memes, check out the page for more!
Have you joined the Subtle Asian Traits page, or have you ever heard of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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