History of Me

Essay by annang March 2009

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I was born in a small town in the northern part of China. The name of my town is Chao Zhou, and the population is around two million. The reader may question the “smallness” of my town, but in Chinese standards this town is small. My house was made of mud and stone with six rooms shared by twelve or thirteen people. The roads were narrow, rough and littered with garbage. The school room held sixty children with three or four students sharing a desk. This environment would certainly influence a young person’s identity, but fortunately my family moved to the city of Shenzhen when I was only two. I changed from a country girl to a city girl. Regardless, my identity is still connected to my Chinese heritage and all that entails.

What does it mean to be Chinese? How has the Chinese culture influenced my identity? Am I proud to be Chinese? When people ask me what I admire about my culture I answer them with one word -respect.

Students in a Chinese classroom always listen to the teacher and follow the instructions. They work hard for long hours. This is ingrained in my personality as I study in Canada. I would not dream of skipping my homework or arguing with a teacher. This respect is extended to all the older people in my life. Even though I may be so hungry and thirsty I will always wait until my grandparents and parents start to eat. Since my country is five thousand years old, I have learned to value traditions. I love to write the ancient Chinese characters and eat traditional foods-would you believe snake, dumplings and Kungfu tea?I know that the “one child only” policy in my country sounds bizarre to foreigners. It was also bizarre to...