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I think all children with different ethnicities can relate to "Why I Hid My Lunch" by Caroline Dinh. Not only did she cover a topic on a social issue, she also incorporates emotions and hindsight during her experience. Caroline details each and every one of her thoughts as she was being humiliated for her food, which gives the readers an understanding of what she was going through. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece because I can relate to how Caroline felt, since I came from an Asian background as well.

The story follows Caroline's encounter with an embarrasing moment during her elementary school years. Coming from different cultures, other children might not have seen or tasted ruoc, the Vietnamese rice and pork product that Caroline loved and craved. However, she realized that although it was delicious, it was foreign to her other classmates. The story mentions, "I had no shame bringing it to lunch in my sky blue lunch box - until I realized ruoc wasn't a typical meal for an American first grader." The truth dawns on young Caroline as she registers that she would be judged for her lunch.

The reason why I connected to this piece so much was because I had a friend in elementary school who would come in with a special lunch as well. She would regularly cover up her lunch container with her lunchbox, hoping no one would see her eat. I didn't understand what she was attempting to do at the time, but reading this story really opened up my eyes as to how she had to endure covering up her lunch everyday. She, too, was called out by our classmates for having a "weird" lunch. Caroline did a really good job reinforcing the theme, "Words have an impact," through her lunch time story. It's time we don't judge one another based on what we eat, but based on how we treat each other.






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