Wednesday, April 24, 2002

The Story of Us - Recently, I bought a Sony Mini DV camera for the express purpose of filming a documentary about my parents. Over the next two years, I plan to interview both friends and relatives in telling their story--from their beginnings in China to their emigration to the United States in the 1960s. I'm very excited about the project. Not many Americans get the chance to document their family's arrival to the US.

I've wanted to do a documentary on their life story ever since I overheard the half-Chinese/half-White daughter of a family friend exclaim, "I'm not Chinese!", in the midst of a family dinner. It startled me to hear those words coming from someone whose grandparents were literally on the same boat from Taiwan to the US as my parents. I'm not opposed to Chinese marrying non-Chinese people, but I found it sad that many Chinese-Americans seem to have forgotten their roots so quickly. Sometimes, I wonder if our Chinese heritage will disappear into the melting pot, and if my grandchildren will even look like us.

Now that my parents are getting up there in age--my father is 77 and my mother is 68--I feel an urgency to getting their life stories on camera. It's a part of our heritage that I'd like to pass onto my children and all future generations of the family.


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