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Asian IQ Quiz

Remember, this quiz is only meant to be a light-hearted satire on Asian American culture -- don't take it too seriously and just have fun.

Which of the following numbers is considered the luckiest?
The correct answer is 168. While you may have heard that 8 is considered lucky, the meaning also depends on the numbers before and after it. In Chinese, the pronunciation of 168 sounds a lot like "the success is rolling in," whereas 8 by itself just means "success." 58 means "won't be successful," which is very unlucky indeed.

Which of the following numbers is considered the unluckiest?
The correct answer is 74. In Chinese, 74 sounds a lot like "will die" (another very unlucky thing to happen).

In your mother's opinion, which is the best profession for you?
The answer is definitely not "Whatever makes you happy." Preferably, it is whatever makes the most money and has the best potential for bragging to your relatives. While your mom may be reasonably satisfied with a lawyer, accountant or engineer in the family, you would be the apple of her eye if you were a doctor.

Which profession is considered the worst?
Without a doubt, being an artist is the worst. Choosing to be an artist is definitely frowned upon. It is okay for a hobby, but not a profession ("Ai yah, why not computers? Your cousin is studying computers . . ."). Being an artist is even worse than being unemployed. How could your parents possibly explain to your grandmother that you paint for a living? At least if you were unemployed, you could still look for a job.

If you brought a date home, who would your parents disapprove of the most?
Unfortunately, many older Asians and those living in Asia still hold xenophobic prejudices based on skin colour. To them, dark skin=BAD while light skin=GOOD. Therefore, according to this absurd reasoning, a Black person is the worst possible date. The best possible date from this list would probably be the Asian gangster -- Asian=GOOD. Plus, gambling is a national past-time. A Caucasian would be frowned upon, as would a sloppy dresser, since appearance is paramount. Your gay lover wouldn't be a problem because your parents would just think s/he is your friend.

If you dropped by your Chinese friend's house, what should you do if they ask if you would like some tea?
The correct answer is to decline. If you were invited to their house, you could accept the offer. However, if you just dropped by, this is unadviseable. Unlike other cultures where it is considered an insult to refuse something offered to you, a Chinese person would think that it is better to not impose on one's host.

What is a "banana?"
A banana is a North American born Asian (yellow on the outside, white on the inside).

Which of the following is the most prestigious car to own?
In this case, owning something foreign is the best. Therefore, a Mercedes Benz is the most prestigious car to own. A Cadillac is North American (considered to be of inferior quality); an Acura is Japanese (not foreign enough); and a Mustang is just too big for us to reach the pedals and the steering wheel.

Author Citation

Copyright © 1999 by H. Tse and Asia'Zine. Reprinted in accordance with Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. Suggested reference: Tse, H. 1999. "Test your Asian IQ." Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> (1999).