Today I interviewed two Chinese students who were born in America and grow up there. They are Youxing Yang and Jessica Chen. When we say ABC, we used to mean Chinese who were born in America. Today, it also includes the second and third generation of Chinese immigrants to overseas countries. The second and third generation grow in the cultural background of the USA and their mindset and values are “Americanized”. However, at home, their parents educate them with traditional Chinese culture and values. Therefore, they find themselves to be in-between Chinese and American culture.
On identity, they all believe there is no clear definition. “We live in a different country. We are no different than the others” Jessica says. “If anybody asks, I am Asian American. If they ask further, I am Chinese.” Youxing says. They said that when they were in America they would miss China and when they were in China they would miss America. Both China and America were their homes, according to them.
“Their friends are all Chinese. A few years before, my parents were very glad to know three Chinese families live on the same street. Every day after dinner, they would go for a walk. During Olympic Games, they would cheer for China, and I will cheer for both China and America”, says Jessica.
“I don’t think they will move back to China,” says Youxing, “because 20 years have passed. Every time when they went back to China, my parents would feel helpless and had to seek help from their relatives. They no longer knew the streets of their hometown, or the streets, or the bus routes or metro lines. They didn’t even know the names of the most common items and activities.” Their parents miss China a lot and China means reunion with friends and relatives. However, after 20 years of hard efforts in America, they can no longer find strong sense of belonging back in China.
This is a very enjoyable talk. I feel glad to see the two different cultures closely,
They feel proud to be Chinese as they are joyful to be American.