I am Alice Le Yi. I am Chinese American. In fact, my name is half English, half Chinese in a way. My name “Alice” is from the classic story book “Alice in Wonderland” – my mom gave me the name because I was led to this wonderful world by the year of “Rabbit”. My Chinese name, “Le Yi”, is from a Chinese poetry book from about 3000 years ago. “Le” means happy. “Yi” means noble. Isn’t that cool?
Since I am Chinese American…
First, I have to learn Chinese. It is VERY HARD. I know how to speak Chinese. The hard part is the reading and writing. The Chinese characters, to me, all look like pictures that I must learn how to draw very precisely. For example, can you even tell the differences among these three characters- “己已巳 “? They are SO alike, the only difference is, like, half of a millimeter!
There is one good thing about knowing Chinese- I learned fun stories from Chinese books and from my grandparents. Once my grandma told me that my great grandpa had immigrated to where they live now riding on the back of camel for over a month. That happened more than 80 years ago. Contrasting to that, my parents flew by airplane from China to U.S. in 12 hours. That happened about 20 years ago. Seems my family has the tradition of being adventurous- they moved from their hometown to somewhere far and unknown. I guess that is common for most American families here. At certain point, they decided to move from far around the world to here.
Being Asian American also means that I have more holidays to celebrate, more holiday food to eat, and more gatherings. For example, Thanksgiving Dinner. My mom always cooks the same Thanksgiving dinner- Roasted Turkey, mashed potato, and everything as part of “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner. Lunar new year eve is often celebrated together with many other Chinese American Families. Dumpling is a “must have”. On the night of “Moon Festival “, my sister and I admire bright moonlight with my parents and taste moon cake that we helped to bake.
Well there are many more Asian-American things, such as art, decoration, and others. It would take me FOREVER to write them all down. If you asked me, “Are you Asian or American”? I would say, “I am both!”

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One thought on “I am Asian, AND I am American”
  1. Alice, wonderful! From Half of a millimeter we see the vast history of Chinese culture. Cherish the beautiful culture.

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