Asian Heritage Month is coming to an end and so is our feature for this month – The Story of Us. We’ve collected over 30 stories from incredible Asian Millennials all over North America. We celebrated our differences, our experiences and our journeys together. So what’s next? After a month of speaking out and listening to each other, where do we go from here? It’s time to look to the future.
For our final feature, we asked each other what we would pass on to future generations. What’s store for the Asian community in the future? 2019 has already made huge strides in increased representation and understanding, but there’s still more to do.
Here is a collection of stories from our fellow Asian Millennials about what they would like to pass on looking into the future:
Chris Lam – @onewingedchris
Enjoy boba/pearls while you can because it will REALLY slow you down when you’re 25 and older. I can only have it once a month at most.
Jon Chiang – @jonchiang
“I think I was incredibly fortunate to have parents that were born in both Chinese and Latin cultures. It was the perfect blend of discipline, tradition, being success oriented and also relaxed, affectionate, and boisterous. In a world so focused on achieving the next thing, I’d want our future generations to remember to not let important things slip by.”
Osric Chau – @osricchau
It took me years to appreciate this, but I love how my grandparents took care of my parents and their siblings until they were old and successful enough to return the favour. My grandparents helped raise their grandchildren until we were old enough to take care of them. My parents were given free rein to work hard until we got old enough to do the same. There’s just something incredible about that cycle of support in family and community.
Sandra Nomoto – @sandranomoto
My most treasured memories over the years have been listening to stories told by my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They painted a picture of my family’s history and what it was like growing up in their native country.
Both of my grandparents had amazing World War II survival stories. My paternal grandfather, a pilot in the Philippine Air Force, survived what was later known as the Bataan Death March in which 75,000 estimated Filipino and American soldiers walked and rode by train to a POW camp in Capas, Tarlac. In Leyte, my grandfather was captured by the Japanese in the middle of the night. My grandmother – then raising a newborn child – set out to rescue him the next day, using her charms, speaking English, and offering food and her wristwatch, to his captors to release him.
The more you know about yourself and where you came from, the more lessons you’ll learn, the more full your life will be, and the more you’ll know about your history that you can pass on.
Matthew Murtagh-Wu – @therealdumplingking
“What I’ve learned, being mixed race, is to not let anyone tell you how you should “be” – even if you’re full ABC/CBC or any other ethnicity born out of your parents’ home country.
Don’t buy into this crap of you are not “Chinese/Asian” enough or “White” enough. Engage with your culture in how it works for you. Make it yours.
Think about how you feel and why you feel that way towards certain values and habits. But never EVER treat your culture as a novelty or a party trick.
Take both the good with the not so good. Explore aspects of your culture which can be damaging and destructive to your development as a person (and your family) and celebrate the values which make you proud. We as people change over time and space. So should our ‘”traditional’” cultures.”
Cecilia Huang – @huesthatgrl
“I still remember the first time I experienced snow. It was the winter my family arrived in Vancouver. We built a snow man and laid on the ground to make snow angels.
Looking back, snow became a key component of our major family memories – the big snowfall of 2007 on Christmas Day where we took a gorgeous walk together in the winter wonderland and one of our few family trips to the Rockies to see the glaciers.
My dad has now moved back to his home country to be closer to his family. Every winter he would ask if it’s snowing in Vancouver and to send him pictures. Perhaps the snow remind him of the times we’ve had together as a family in Vancouver. That’s what I think of whenever it snows, creating meaningful memories as a family.”
Julie Tu – @julie.also & @umbrellafree
I encourage everyone to become knowledgeable about genocides and intergenerational trauma. Historical and cultural context is key to understanding ourselves and our neighbors: how to love, how to move forward, how to prevent these things from festering and repeating.
Steven Ngo – @stevennogo
Don’t forget where you came from, but never lose sight of where you are going.
My family was not wealthy growing up and it was often easy to feel like I was not good enough or connected enough. This is not uncommon for children of immigrants. Instead, I suggest that you think about where you want to go and use that as rocket fuel to drive your ambitions, your goals, and ultimately, your life.
Angie Yu – @angietiantian
Be kind to each other and to others. My maternal grandmother is Buddhist and has never held material possessions and money in high regard. Her whole life she has been extremely kind to others, marrying for love instead of wealth and feeding her neighbours’ kids when she could barely feed her own. Her life has worked out very well, and I’d like to think it’s because of the karma she has amassed over the years.
Call To Action
Now, it’s your turn! What advice do you have for future generations? What stories or traditions should we keep in looking to the future? Share a photo of yourself or your family on social media with a caption sharing your advice and tag @coldteacollective with the hashtag #coldteaAHM. We’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for tuning in to our Asian Heritage Month Campaign. Your stories and comments touched our hearts and showed us the power of this community. If you’re interested in sharing your experiences or perspectives as an Asian millennial, send us a message! We are always looking to grow the Cold Tea Collective. Read more here on how you can share your stories, ideas, projects and passions.
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