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I Am An Immigrant Series

I Am An Immigrant – Voices



“I grew up in a society where you do not question the government so the concept of social justice was so foreign to me.”
When I first arrived in New York City, I found it so different from what I had expected.

I thought New York City would be like Hong Kong, 24 hours with endless night light and endless stream of people. But right before our flight landed in JFK, I looked down from the window, feeling a quiet winter, rather than a busy metropolis.

Maybe it was because of the coldness, but I remember clearly my first day in the U.S. I arrived around eight o’clock at night, and all stores were closed. Furthermore, very few people were walking on the street.

Everything was harder than I thought. I joined my class in the middle of the semester, and it was an awkward time to make friends. Plus, I was totally new here.

There was so many things in class I couldn’t understand during my first semester. I remember that during history class, there was a lecture about the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989. It was about China so I assumed that I knew what they are talking about, but I had never learned that in school before.

My father had told me something about that before, and it have been mentioned on some documentary on TV too but I did not know much about it . I am from Guangdong (a mainland province next to Hong Kong).

The TV in our house back in China can receive TV signal from Hong Kong, like TVB channel of Hong Kong. But when it starts to talk about some sensitive issue, the image on TV we received would quickly turn into advertisement.

I found it ironic that I finally learned about this painful part of Chinese history in America during class. But even then when I learned about it, I still didn’t understand the reason behind the protest, the point of such uprising.

I was very naive and obedient. I grew up in a society where you do not question the government so the concept of social justice was so foreign to me.

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