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My parents and I are growing apart, but food anchors me to my heritage.
Growing up with Chinese immigrant parents, I wanted to be more American. But now that I’m leaving for college, I’m trying to remember all the little things that connect me to my culture. One of those things is food.
Walking through Chinatown on Sunday mornings with my mom, I think of the stories my grandma tells about digging up grass to feed her family during the Great Chinese Famine.
While me and my mom do the shopping, my grandma does the cooking. When she puts the food on the table, she insults her own dish, which means that it’s gonna be really good.
Over the next four years, I wonder whether my Chinese will become rusty, or how many cultural customs I’ll be able to hold onto. I’ve already noticed a language barrier developing — I’m unable to express complex ideas in Chinese, with the same eloquence as I am in English.
But when I eat with my family, I feel a part of my culture again. Every family meal reminds me that I am Chinese.