Relationship: Im/migrant
Chinese character of my surname "sun"
Chinese character of my surname "sun"

When my parents came to the US from China, they brought with them only what they could carry on their backs. This meant only the necessities: clothes, food, and money. Being immigrants meant that they didn't have the choice of luxury and so much of our family heirlooms were left behind. There was nothing materialistic they could pass on to me. When I was born, my parents gave me an English name, hoping it would help me fit in and they gave me clothes that everyone else around me wore. What they didn't realize though, was that they also passed on to me something very special, something I used to resent in my younger years. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was different from the people around me, from the way I looked down to how I formed the words in my tongue. My name was a constant reminder. I was ashamed of my family name. It was foreign and made me stand out. However, as I got older, it became one of the few ties connecting me back to my culture. I began to wish my parents had given me a Chinese name instead of feeling like they had to make me conform. All those years of trying to fit in and disregarding my heritage, now I yearn for it back. I want to continue passing down the family surname to my kids and them to theirs. My parents worked so hard to make sure that I would have a good life here in the United States and tossed aside their entire lives to do so. Thus, I want to keep the name alive, as a way to honor them, and as a way to honor my heritage. 


Year: 2011

– DS

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant