Sad & Strong

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May 31, 2021

Being Asian American doesn’t change who I am. I’m not that different from kids from other cultures. However, from books and the news, I have learned of some Asian Americans who have been bullied because of their food, clothes, and accents. I have sympathy for those people because I have the same cultural background.

The pandemic has made this worse. I feel hurt when Chinese Americans are being falsely blamed for ‘making’ the coronavirus that caused the current pandemic without proof. These claims have consequences. Two apartment employees were being very indifferent when they saw an old Asian American getting beat up in front of their apartment complex, and simply closed the front door of the apartment complex without halting the attack.

Despite the bad news, I feel strong inside because of Asian culture. I learned Martial Arts (武术 Wushu) for about 5 years. It makes me powerful mentally and physically. Famous animation character, Po from Kung Fu Panda does Martial Arts, and is an inspiration to lots of people. The dragon dance in Martial Arts symbolizes fighting and prosperity. In March 2020 for Heritage Night at my school, as part of the Martial Arts performance, we were going to do the Dragon Parade. Eight students were carrying the body of the dragon, one student was holding the dragon head, and one student at the very front was carrying the red ball that the dragon was following. Dress rehearsal was a memorable experience for me, even though school activities, including the formal performance, got canceled.

We Asian Americans have delightful moments in our life with our unique culture. The best part about being a Chinese American is our cuisine. Both of my parents know how to make delicious Chinese food. My dad is good at making dumplings and can make the outside skin very pretty. Dumplings are the main dish for dinner at Lunar New Year eve because the sound in Chinese 饺子 (jiao zi) is the same as transitioning from old to new. There is also a Chinese tradition that we always follow – on our family member’s birthday, we eat noodles with extremely long length 长寿面 (chang shou mian), to symbolize longevity.

My unique culture makes me strong, and I’m proud of it, even though I’m sad that people face discrimination and get bullied because they’re Asian Americans.

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