Guest Post: "Thank you, Mom. I’m proud to be biracial and Vietnamese." | Speaking of China

11 Responses

  1. Kimberly
    Kimberly March 27, 2015 at 8:06 am | | Reply

    Great to hear your story Mary. It was very interesting to see how your mother dealt with it when you go to upset with her, and it is understandable that she wanted to shelter you from what she knew was a painful place and situation. Indeed her life has been a hard one. I hope she is having an easier time of it more recently and I hope that you two are now better able to understand each other and better communicate. Thank you for sharing Mary and thanks for posting Jocelyn!

  2. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen March 27, 2015 at 8:14 am | | Reply

    I enjoyed Mary’s article and the pictures she shared. My three daughters also appreciate their biracial heritage.

  3. Marta
    Marta March 27, 2015 at 8:26 am | | Reply

    I was deeply moved by this article. I have been following Mary’s blog for some time (I love it! ) and it was very nice to know more about her story.

  4. R Zhao
    R Zhao March 27, 2015 at 8:29 am | | Reply

    Mary, this was beautiful. The bit at the end about going to Vietnam and hearing the song on the radio made me tear up.

    I think it’s interesting that as kids we assume the way our family is the way all families are. Then slowly we start to question things. I think that can be a very hard and confusing time. I guess that’s something I have to keep in mind when my son gets older. Maybe if we talk about his being Chinese and American, even when he is little, it’ll be easier?

  5. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories March 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm | | Reply

    Loved this post. Mary is such a talented writer and I really enjoyed reading about how she experienced being brought up in one language and how she learned to appreciate her mother’s home country and embrace this other part of her cultural background after living in Asia.

    @R Zhao: I also teared up when reading that part!

  6. Holly Hollins
    Holly Hollins March 27, 2015 at 8:57 pm | | Reply

    This is a beautiful and touching story. I’m glad you could share it, Mary.

    My best friend, she’s half-Thai, half-white. And her mom used to be some what distant into teaching my best friend her heritage of being Thai. And slowly each day she’s learning more and more about her mother. I told her, “Zhoulin, you need to go to Thailand one day, to discover yourself.” So hopefully she can do that someday.

    Do you know, Bich Minh-Nguyen? She was a Vietnamese refugee and came to the US to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She wrote a book called, “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner.” It’s as good book about finding yourself amidst of being around different people from yourself.

  7. AL
    AL March 27, 2015 at 8:57 pm | | Reply

    Hi Mary!
    Your story got teared up.
    I completely understand your growing up as a child.
    I was born in Cambodia. my mom was Cantonese born in Cambodia my dad was from Chaozhou (潮州市)who spoke Teochew from China He met my mom in Cambodia. so I currently speak Khmer, Teochew, and English so who am I what am I where am I from?
    In United States. Black, white, and Spanish people they all label Asian people as Chinese it dose not matter you have light skin or dark skin or which Asia country you from. You Are Chinese.
    It is very sad.
    love your post.
    Love this ( speakingofchina)

  8. Autumn
    Autumn March 28, 2015 at 1:55 pm | | Reply

    I wasn’t even on the bus and I was crying, too. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to leave all that is familiar and never go back. Your mom is amazing, and I love that you went back for her (in more ways than one).

  9. marghini
    marghini March 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm | | Reply

    Very touching article. Thank you very much Mary for sharing your story. I will definitely be following her blog from now on!

  10. Timo
    Timo April 3, 2015 at 1:18 am | | Reply

    Very nice article. Growing up biracial has a lot of interesting potential for the person but also several difficulties as shown here.
    A friend of mine is half korean half german and didnt learn anything about Korea from his mother till he started to get interested himself. As his mother barely ever spoke about Korea he just went there on a trip on his own when he finished high school and stayed for some time there.

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