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For my family, bridging the generation gap is a journey of 7,000 miles

Apr. 13, 2014, 4:48 PM

My dad used to tell me I took things for granted, especially on my birthday or Christmas. I always thought he was just a party pooper. But of course, you should never ignore what a wise Chinese man has to say.

The conversation would go somewhat like this:

“Thanks for the math book, Dad.”

“You should be more grateful. When I was your age, I didn’t have math books to study. In fact, I didn’t even have cake when I was your age, not to mention the things to make a cake. Eggs? Oil? Yeah, right. When I was your age, I got a hard-boiled egg for my birthday. And that was only because our neighbors were nice!”

He would lecture me continuously about the past and the opportunities I had. But it wasn’t until more recently that I began to take an interest in my parents’ past.


Originally published in Vanderbilt Magazine