I was born to very loving Chinese immigrant parents who they did their best to pass on their language and culture to me. Growing up in the Bay Area, I was lucky enough to experience a mix of my parents ' culture and San Francisco 's own unique culture. I frequently accompanied by parents to the Sunset district which is always teeming with friendly Chinese folks chatting away about the newest happenings in the city. It is like a little slice of Canton, China in San Francisco, with bits of influence from America. Everyone seemed to either know each other through a relative or friend, and even those who did not treated each other very warmly as if they were family. There was a very distinct sense of community, and this sense of community was present in almost every corner of my life. Memories of my childhood are crowded with aunties, uncles, cousins, cousins ' cousins, etc. When I think of "family", I think of an enormous group of relatives and family friends that extend far beyond a blood-related tree. This large community was my world f...
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...le with family, there is an openness that is not seen elsewhere. There is rarely an "I love you" or "I 've missed you", exchanged, but what is not said in words is said through everyone 's actions and stomachs. Telling someone to eat more was the way you showed your love. A good, filling meal was an absolute necessity to a good meeting. Food in general, was always present for company. Even in households, there would be a mix of oranges, candies, nuts, and other treats on the living room table in case company decided to visit. As my parents explained to me as a child, it is their way of showing hospitality, while also saying "My family is well, and we will always be able to offer hospitality to you as well. You are welcome here!". Offering food was our way of showing care and love, and my parents always went out of their way to make sure their children always ate well.
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