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HKBC

Wednesday. 12. 3. 2008.

“Somewhere between listening to 90’s grunge rock and living in a pink stucco house, I grew up Chinese American.”

No, I’m not Chinese American. I’m a HKBC. Hong Kong Born Canadian. My family moved to Canada like so many other families in the late 80’s fearing the coming of the communists after Tinanamen Square.

We settled into a young rapidly growing city outside of Toronto, unlike the many other Chinese families who chose to head to Scarborough. I was one of the few Chinese students in my elementary school. My mother still recalls the time I came home in tears because someone at school called me Japanese.

I made a few Chinese friends in elementary school but that was when what kind of clothes you wear and what celebrity you idolized didn’t matter.

Most Chinese families at the time had an “astronaut” dad. The kids got what they wanted to fill in the void of their fathers working in Hong Kong had left. My parents didn’t think that it was worth spending $8 for a magazine about the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings.

So I made friends with my other classmates that were interested in riding their bikes really fast and jumping ropes.

As I got older, the wider the gap became between me and the other Chinese students. They spoke Chinese to each other at school and listened to K-pop. I hung out with the “freaks” and wore shirts with band logos like TOOL or NIN.

Sometimes I wonder if my parents are disappointed that I didn’t turn out like the children of their Chinese friends, obedient and can read and write Chinese. Or if they look at my Swedish boyfriend wishing that they can communicate better.

But in my heart I know that they’re happy with the way their banana turned out.

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