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I Am An Immigrant Series

I Am An Immigrant – Voices

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“I would like to be closer to my culture. There are people on campus who are from China, but they have a certain view of Chinese people like me. They don’t really want to associate with us when they realize we were born here because they don’t consider us as ‘real’ Chinese people.”
Los Angeles, CA
My parents came to the U.S. for college and then later for work. They always wanted to come to America and eventually settle here. I don’t speak Chinese or Cantonese well, but I can understand it perfectly. If there was a conversation around me I would understand it all, it just takes me longer to piece together words to make a conversation. I would like to be closer to my culture. There are people on campus who are from China, but they have a certain view of Chinese people like me. They don’t really want to associate with us when they realize we were born here because they don’t consider us as ‘real’ Chinese people. They kind of leave us out. But then again, they feel like we will leave them out, too just because they weren’t born here. But I do want to talk to them. I just don’t know how to. They have this inevitable view of me, so inviting me into their group or me trying to invite myself into their lives would be difficult. A lot of Asian cultures are this kind of exclusive and cliquey. I’ve been trying to find some people I could talk to. They’re really timid to talk to us, but we are too, so if only they could see that, things would be a lot more simple.
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