Translating for mom and how it saved our relationship.

| May 4, 2011

When may parents were learning to survive in New York City shortly after immigrating from China, I was their translator for many essential purposes. By age 8, I translated: bills, contracts, directions, movies, music, the news, I was even the translator for the parent teacher conferences. When there is a need, we must decide, can […]

Chinese New Year: Love and Gratitude

| February 21, 2011

Chinese New Year is the holiday I remember celebrating most as a child. I would wear my nice clothes and go out to Chinatown with my mom and brother. We’d walk through the streets thronged with people, dragon dances and endless noise of fire crackers. We’d wait for what seemed like hours to get a table […]

NYC 2010, Immigration

| July 6, 2010

Why do people immigrate? Why do we leave everything we know to be our world to venture to the unknown? Spending almost all of one’s savings to bring few valuables and start anew. My son asked me a similar question when we visited Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty. I asked myself the same questions growing up […]

Belonging in the Chinese Language

| April 22, 2010

In Chinese culture, which is reflected its language, the sense and value of place and belonging in a family system is very important. Every person in a family has a specific name based on their relation to each other. For example, my “mah mah”, paternal grandmother, as opposed to my “paw paw”, maternal grandmother.  My […]

Love Beyond Reeducation in Communist China

| January 2, 2010

My grandfather was imprisoned and sent to hard labor for “reeducation” in Northwest China for 18 years after China became a Communist regime. He was father to six children; the youngest was 3 months old when he was sentenced. His crime: he was a bank manager. He was one of many thousands of Chinese people […]