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Sesame Street Introduces Ji-Young, The First Korean-American Muppet

Ji-young will debut in the Thanksgiving Special!

If you were born from 1969 until now, you would have surely watched the iconic educational program ‘Sesame Street‘ at least once in your life. You’ve learned to count with Count von Count, learned about friendship with Big Bird, and even laughed at Bert and Ernie’s funny antics. And because of how fun and educational the show is, it has lasted for more than 50 years already–making it one of the longest-running TV shows in history!

And now, Sesame Street is once again making history. Just recently, the Sesame Street gang announced that there will be a new member of their community! Meet Ji-young, a seven-year-old Korean-American girl, who will be joining Sesame Street starting from the show’s Thanksgiving special, ‘See Us Coming Together’! (Read: A Prayer to Be Kind to Mean People)

Combining two cultures

sesame-street-introduces-ji-young-the-first-korean-american-muppet
Photo from Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop/The New York Times

According to Alan Muraoka, who plays the owner of Hooper’s Store on the show and is also Asian American, Ji-young will be representing two cultures. “She’s a musician, she plays electric guitar, she’s a girl of the very modern American fabric,” he said, She recognizes the culture through her relatives — her grandmother, through her mother — and through the food she eats and loves.”

Ji-young also has a passion for skateboarding and loves eating spicy Korean tteokboki (Korean rice cake). In the Thanksgiving special, Sesame Street will be tackling real-life issues that surrounds Ji-young and fellow individuals of mixed race. According to a press release from the show, Ji-young will seek help from family and friends to help her understand “exactly where she belongs,” after another kid tells her to “go home”. (Read: LOOK: Mattel Honors COVID-19 Frontliners, Including Fil-Am Doctor From Las Vegas!)

The episode will also feature celebrities like Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka. Ji-young will be voiced by Kathleen Kim.

Back in June, Sesame Street also introduced Analyn, a Filipino-American girl who was teased for her eye shape.

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