Monday, November 15, 2010

Proud of my roots

I was born in Hong Kong. I moved here with my family when I was 5 years old.

I remember kids making fun of me for being an immigrant. In my efforts to fit in, my worst fear was being called a FOB (fresh off the boat). After all, "fobby" people smelled like mothballs, dressed funny, and ate weird stuff. Speaking Chinese and going to Chinese school was for losers. They sneered at me in their best imitation of a Hong Kong accent.

(Oddly, the worst offenders were the Canadian-born Chinese kids. Somehow, having no ties to their heritage gave them an extra notch of coolness.)

I don't remember being ashamed of my ethnicity, but I certainly wasn't proud.

The funny thing is that the same people now post pictures and talk all about their world travels, showing off what cool places they've seen. One of the top destinations? Hong Kong.

Of course, I now realize that those kids were just completely insecure and intolerant of anything that was different. But oh, how I wish I had known back then.

I mean, how could you not be proud to call this your birthplace?

1 comment:

  1. It's truly sad what happens in classrooms across the country. So glad that you have come to a place to be able to embrace your heritage!