My Family

October 26, 2010
By Jiaxin Yu BRONZE, Brattleboro, Vermont
Jiaxin Yu BRONZE, Brattleboro, Vermont
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Our family banquet is usually on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Usually one of the relatives will choose a good restaurant in the city and reserve lunch for about forty-five seats. It is grand. All of the relatives from my mother’s side will get together and have a great time at the restaurant.

I think we will likely miss the family lunch, again. This is not the first time that my parents have been far away from home. Ever since we moved out to the south, we seldom have chances to visit the rest of my family in the New Year.

Like many other people, my parents moved to Shenzhen, an unknown town in south China, in the late 1980s. Before, my mom and dad used to work for the same company in a northern city. When the company started its business in Shenzhen, they took the chance and both went to the south. At that time, Shenzhen was nothing. It used to be a small fishing village with merely several thousand people, before it was chosen as one the first four places where free market and capitalism first landed in China at the beginning of the 1980s. Everything was brand-new, starting from zero. And no one knew how its future was going to be like.

At that time, a lot of other people began to flow into this new land. They had nothing with them but hope, the hope of a brand-new start and a good life in this brand-new city. They consisted of the first generation of the immigrants in Shenzhen. It was pretty much like California, I think. When the gold rush spread throughout America, they all flowed to that new land. Anyway, my parents moved there and worked for the new company. They kept dating more frequently. They got married, and later had a child.
When they came to Shenzhen, they had no relatives going with them. Their relatives were all about two to four hours away by plane. Since the distance was so long, they could hardly reach any of them, even now it’s still difficult. We are only able to visit them once or twice a year, most likely once. We will usually stay at my grandpa’s house in the summer for about a month. It’s much like the only chance that my mom is able to be a daughter, a sister and someone’s aunt. We also often miss the Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year), which definitely means a lot to Chinese people. At most of the time we have to spend the time with only three of us.

Now the whole story sounds like a miracle. They landed in this town with nearly nothing. They didn’t have a lot of savings with them. They had to rent a small apartment before they could afford their first little house. And suddenly their early life fascinates me so much. How did they feel about those years? Did they feel upset? It must be a pity that they couldn’t visit their parents very often in those years. Did they write to home every month, before telephones became affordable? Did they get homesick, even though I know they never showed that emotion in front of me? Did they ever regret moving there? All these questions keep popping in my mind. Especially at this very moment, when I am also far away from home in such a different place. Am I doing this partly because I am pretty much like them? I want so badly to know their answers. And as I am sitting here writing this paper, I can feel what they might have been feeling! The whole story sounds so unbelievable. Thinking back of every part of it is a new discovery of life.

I am still not sure if we can make it home this year to attend the banquet. Hopefully, next January, after so many tough years, we will.

The author's comments:
I was actually inspired by one of my journals. The topic was about the place where my family liked. I wrote about my once-a-year family banquet in that journal. But it was rather short and incomplete. So I decided to finish it into a detailed story and I would like to share it with other people. Personally I think it’s quite an interesting story. The idea that my parents traveled across the country and started a new life there sounded so excited to me. I wanted to explore their life and their thoughts, and luckily I was given a chance to do that by writing them down on the paper.

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