“The Most Asian” Novel: My Experience with the Kite Runner

Few weeks ago, I read the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and it was amazing.

I will not spoil much but I will tell about my experience reading it. First, reading this novel in public place was a mistake. I brought the novel during my night’s watch duty in hospital and I had to hold back my tears many times. So I was happy when I could finally read it at home because I could cry ugly tears as I wanted.

Second, this novel is probably “the most Asian” novel I’ve ever read. The “Asian things” come in many forms: Asian pride, parent-and-child relationship, our attitude toward people of different ethnicity or religion, the gender biased norm, marriage, the taboo stuff, etc. Then I realise something: regardless of ethnicity, location, and religion, Asians are Asians. Some proud creatures we are. Well, maybe not all Asians but I live in another part of Asia and I can relate and understand those things.

This is one of my favourite quotes in the book which is also one of “the most Asian” quotes, “Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was going to change that. Nothing. But we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either.”

I guess those “Asian things”, aside from the story line, are what make me love this novel so much. Because I could relate to it. Because it makes me cry and say, “Yes, right.”

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