It’s a dream-like sensation that pulls on my heart strings and tickles the depths of my brain. Imagine the pride your elders could feel and the honor you could give them. When participating in cultural activities, I get a sense of belonging and a taste of my identity. I encourage other people, especially Asian Americans, to be more open minded and engage in activities, as simple as listening to music in their mother tongue, in efforts of connecting to their ancestors. Of course, I am biased as a first generation Asian American that was born in the United States. What I noticed in the 14 years of my life is that a majority of my friends and family members that were born here lost touch with their roots. Most couldn’t speech their native tongue, didn’t eat traditional foods, and didn’t truly appreciate their culture. From personal experience, I’d say some are even ashamed of their Asian heritage. Living under western culture has “americanized” them. People within this new generation no longer have the same point of view as their grandparents or even their parents. In the past, my grandmother grew up in an age where people had arranged marriage and never had a choice. During World War II, she lived in a time of constant conflict. Now, I have everyday first world problems. I have a freedom of choice and and have so many more opportunities than my grandmother did back then. For the most part, I can do what I want and say what I want. Looking back at my grandmother, immersing myself into Chinese culture is the least I could do for her. This is why I hope my children and my children’s children will face their background with pride and embracement. Culture shouldn’t be something feared or something embarrassing. It should be looked at with love and pride. Take it from me, I learned my lesson and I urge others to do the same. 

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