Tang Yuan

My mother would cook this food called Tangyuan frequently when we lived in China. This food symbolizes family reunion. Especially on the first day of the year (New Year), Chinese families would cook Tangyuan with the hope that their family will always be united. Similarly, my family also eats Tangyuan every year. We eat it so often that it becomes our habit. Due to its easy making process, my mom still makes it when we move to the U.S. However, this did not last long. My dad came to America when I was 2 and me and my mom came to the U.S. when I was 10. The reason my family came to America is to have a better life but it is hard to achieve. My parents have to work in a different place so we did not live together. Our chances to see each other had decreased, and during this time, I'm forced to become independent by reality. When we meet again, we noticed that we all changed. I grew taller and they've grown older. I realized what accompanied them these years is not me, it's the cocoons that they have on their hands and the desire of giving me a better life. The only thing that didn't change is the feeling of eating Tangyuan together. The feeling that our good times is about to come and the feeling that our family is reunited again. That's when I first realize the power of families. It's so strong that nothing can separate us. This culture is very important not only to me but to every Chinese family. Eating Tangyuan gives us hope to the upcoming new year.

Place(s): China
Year: 2010

– YaTing Zhang

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child