Recently, my daughter had this poem in her class project.
Where Are You From?
Where am I from?
I come from
Where land nearly never-endingly surrounds our borders
Where bamboo stalks dominate the forests
Specially grown to feed the Giant Pandas
Where the rivers flow uncontrollably
From one side to the other
Where dynasties fly by
As quickly as they had come
Where Taiwan and Tibet protest
To be broken off from mainland
Where red-crowned cranes migrate to the south
To escape the cold dark winter
Where tree peonies bloom
Beautifully in gardens
Where hard-working athletes struggle to win
In every sport
Is where I come from.
In this poem, I find that my 10 year old girl is more keen to call herself Chinese than New Zealander, though, with English as her first language, her Chinese is just enough to manage daily conversation. As she will grow up in Kiwi culture, I don’t think she can understand Chinese classical literature good enough. How much can she understand Chinese culture in the future? Will she get lost somewhere in between? I don’t know. Only time can tell.
For 1st generation Chinese living overseas, What do you think about your child(ren)?
For expats in China, will you encourage your child use Chinese as first language? Identify himself/herself as a Chinese?
For 2nd generation onward overseas born Chinese, can you share your experience with us?