Essay about Elizabeth Wong, Born, And The Chinese Culture

Essay about Elizabeth Wong, Born, And The Chinese Culture

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Elizabeth Wong, born and raised in Chinatown in Los Angeles, grew up rebelling against learning Chinese and the Chinese culture. When she was in grade school, she was embarrassed because she could not do things fourth/fifth graders would normally do such as pretend to hunt ghosts or go on a search for animal bones with her friends. Instead she and her brother were forcefully dragged by their mother to Chinese school. Kids do not just grow up knowing they don’t want to take part in their heritage; it just happens. Many adolescents nowadays seem to be revolting against their heritage, causing the parents to enforce it onto them. And even when they are older and by luck, or persistence, are granted a ‘cultural divorce’, they are still surrounded by it every day causing them to feel as if they never really made a complete transition. It’s understandable that parents want their children growing up within the same cultural environment but some kids grow up believing that who they want to be, isn’t who their parents want them to be. Causing them to either bite their tongue for many years, or revolt. Every person wants to be a free-willed individual that is capable of making decisions for themself; including changing their cultural background.
Wong dreaded going to Chinese school. She pleaded, kicked, screamed and cried to get herself out of going but her mother was determined to have her and her brother learn their language that is associated with their heritage. She just wanted to be a normal kid and play with her friends: she did not want to be affiliated with the Chinese culture. While the Chinese school predominantly focused on language, speaking, reading and writing, she mentioned that every day started out with a lesson consisti...

... middle of paper ...

...See, the question still stands whether Wong rebelled to fit in or to stand out. Most adolescents who rebel do it to fit in; but in Wong’s case, she is trying to be someone different while trying to fit into the American culture. Everyone knows the cliché phrase “Why do people try so hard to fit in, when clearly they were born to stand out?” At the end of the essay Wong had been granted a cultural divorce and was permitted to stop attending Chinese school. She finally transitioned herself into the American lifestyle. However, once her goal was accomplished, she realized what she had lost and regretted it. “At last, I was one of you; I wasn’t one of them. Sadly, I still am” (63). She saw the error of her ways as a child but could no longer act upon it because it was too late. Her teenage rebellion caused her as an adult to regret her assimilation into American culture.

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