A mother and father are on a train. While the train passed by through the rainy night stopping at every designation, the mother held a wrapped baby boy in her arms, both parents contemplated whether what they were about to do was right or wrong. Before long the next stop on train appeared, and the mother laid the baby down on the seat next to her, the father quickly pulled the mother away to the exit with tears in both their eyes. Both believed that they are giving the baby a better future they could not have provided, especially with the child’s clef palate. The baby was alone on the train for hours crying for his mother and father. The child was soon found by the authorities, and they were horrified by the baby’s deformities. After weeks of trying to find the child’s parents, the boy was sent to an orphanage. As the boy grew, he always wondered why on earth the people that were supposed to love him the most would abandon him, and it makes him want crawl in a corner and cry for the fact that he was not wanted. After 3 years living in the orphanage he was finally adopted by his current family that he now lives with.
The story of the baby being left on a train was what my mother told me when I was growing up. All the other details in story is what I would like to think had happened. Now whether this story my mother told me was true is up for debate. Throughout my adolescents, I grew up an all-white neighborhood and school, and I think this lead to a notion in my head that I was not Chinese. I didn’t want to be Chinese at the time, I wanted to fit in, and so I did everything I could to disconnect myself from the traditions, stories, and stereotypes related to Chinese people. Honestly, I kind of hated myself because I looked Asian, and the fact that I was stuck with this fate. However this all changed around the time of my first year in high school, we take a Cultural Literacy class every year to help better understand history and other cultures. During that time I just realized that what I was doing was dumb. What is wrong with me? I shouldn’t be hating myself and disconnecting myself from the country and culture I was born in. No, I should be trying hardest to discover more and more about Chinese culture, because that is the only way I can accept myself and live my life the way I want to, and so I decided that for my graduation project for senior year I would be doing Chinese Traditional & Pop Culture.
When I did my research for my graduation project, I found so many fascinating facts about Chinese culture. Like the Chinese Zodiacs’ major influence on people as to when they should give birth, name their child, and what relationships they should get in to. Another one is that the Chinese Lunar New Year festivals lasts for a total of 15 days. My favorite is the number 4 (my luckiest number) being an extremely unlucky number in China due to it sounding very similar the word “death.” I also got chance to go to Epcot Disney World during the summer with my entire family, and I went to China. Even though it was not the real deal, it was awesome seeing a small version of the Terracotta Army, and eating authentic Chinese food like Pork Belly and Duck.
Furthermore I am grateful and happy for the fact that I am Chinese. I’ve learned to accept myself for who I and doing my graduation project of Chinese culture was a great way for me to learn more about my culture. After I am done with this graduation project I plan on learning Mandarin Chinese. Learning Chinese Mandarin will further help my later that is one day I will be able to visit China, and who knows if I really love it there perhaps live there.