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I Am An Immigrant Series

I Am An Immigrant – Voices

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“It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing immigration as a bunch of numbers. But behind every number is an individual, a person with their own hopes and dreams in this life.”
Cincinnati, OH
As a first-generation Chinese-American, I never directly experienced relocating from one country to another. My parents, however, did. Over thirty years ago, my parents immigrated from Shanghai, China to Canada, and from there, moved to Ohio where I was born and raised.

From a young age, my life outside of school was comparatively, very Chinese. I was often taken to the Cincinnati Chinese Church community. There, I experienced both the word of God and the culture of my people, where I learned to value both education and Chinese hot pot.

When I was back in school during the weekdays though, I was exposed to the culture of Americans. Over Lunchables and recess, I learned American values of self-industry and perseverance.

I found valuable lessons from all these different spheres of my life, and I learned to appreciate every bit of it. I grew to love my ethnic culture and particularly, the country that gave me and my family so much. In America, I am inimitably home.

It’s pretty apparent that I grew up in special fusion of cultures. But what I’m really trying to get at is that immigration isn’t just about the people that physically move themselves to another country. It’s about their children and future grandchildren too, their unique amalgamations of experiences, cultures, and perspectives that they lead.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing immigration as a bunch of numbers. But behind every number is an individual, a person with their own hopes and dreams in this life. I hope that we will all soon realize that so that every decision that we make, whether it is big or small, keeps in mind that each one us is a living, breathing human.

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