Below are categories for questions that have been answered by community members. Keep in mind that the following responses may represent many members of this group but do not represent all people in a community. Not all people from diverse populations conform to commonly known culture-specific behaviors, beliefs and actions. Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.
What cultural / ethnic / religious traditions or beliefs should law enforcement be aware of?
- The family unit is very important in Asian culture. There may be multiple generations living under the same roof.
- Asian culture stresses the importance of showing respect for elders.
- Many immigrant Asian elders do not speak English well. If you ask them something, they may listen, smile and nod. This does not necessarily mean they understand you; they are being friendly and polite.
What is the appropriate manner to greet you? (demeanor, non-verbal, body space, handshake, bow, male-female interaction etc.)
- Bowing your head slightly and a "hello" is the preferred greeting by Asian cultures.
- Personal space is important; therefore, it is important to respect that.
- Asian people typically avoid direct eye contact and may gaze downward when talking because it can be seen as disrespectful to speak to someone while making eye contact.
- Summoning a person with a hand or finger in the upright position is reserved only for animals. May use the middle finger to point; it is not meant to be a sign of disrespect.
Who should be addressed or acknowledged first? Who is the head of the household?
- Many Asian families live in multi-generational households. If the elder does not speak English, he or she may call the second-generation child to translate.
- The eldest male is the head of the household or the next generation male.
- Asian immigrants who have higher education are more likely to be fluent in English and interact well when approached. Those who are not fluent in English may fear being interrogated and be reluctant to engage in a conversation.
What is your view / perception of law enforcement? What has been your community's experience with law enforcement?
- Asian cultures typically view law enforcement as authority and will, therefore, show respect.
- However, many Asian cultures have experienced corruption with government and law enforcement officials in their native countries.