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It didn’t take me long to figure out my family wasn’t the typical white picket fence American family. Both my parents immigrated to the United States from China. Neither of my parents pursued a college education—my dad dropped out of high school to help support his family and my mom simply didn’t have the chance with two younger sisters to care for, alone in a foreign land.
I am not at all ashamed by the fact that neither of my parents have a college education. They have worked hard to provide my brother and me with a world full of opportunities they never had. My life has been enriched with both Chinese and American culture. We speak “Chinglish” in my house, a hybrid of Chinese and English. Our fridge houses half empty jars of pasta sauce and salsa, along with fermented bean curd.
You most certainly have not eaten real Chinese food if you’ve only been to the Panda Express. Think along the lines of dumplings, steamed taro, and perhaps . . . chicken feet.
Should it be concerning to say that I’m not the least bit afraid of eating fish with its head still completely intact?
And cheese . . . what American doesn’t have a cheese drawer in their fridge? I promise you will not find any cheese in a quaint little village in China. I, however, love cheese.
I learned the multiplication table in the first grade and my parents marveled over my first snow day—Americans cancel school when there’s just half a foot of snow on the ground? Wow!
I will be a first generation college student in my Asian-American family and both my parents and I would be especially proud if I were to be a Michigan Wolverine.
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