Second Generation

I read quite a few Asian blogs and websites. A lot of them are American-focussed, so you can imagine my terribly nerdy delight at having found British-born Chinese Blog. Oh, look! It’s a blog all about BBCs.

I’m a second generation “Chinese” (or Hong Kongese, which is an entirely different blog post) and I fall into the rebellious and unruly group of youths wanting to earn (or be handed) their independence, constant arguments with their parents about western values compared to the east’s… You know. That group. Except, well, not really. Apart from the tumultuous period aged twelve to fifteen where I was required by some kooky teenage law to be an absolutely awful constantly upset daughter (we had a beautiful summer holiday in Spain one time, and I spent the entirety of it locked up in my room listening to Avril Lavigne), I’m quite fine and all right. I’m not exactly rebellious and unruly. I don’t mind too much about living under my parents’ house — they’re kind of cool and make you steak at eleven PM — and their rules. And the only… disagreement we have is probably: “RICE? AGAIN?!”.

My parents are not forceful in wanting to keep the Chinese culture alive and intact with an augmented Western education — this is apparently what most first generation Chinese parents want. To be quite honest, they have never been explicit about it. There are certainly times when they’ll come out with: “Chinese people don’t do that” but they have never, and would — I hope — never, use that as a means to say: “And you’re Chinese, so don’t that”.

Despite all the tiny nigglings I have with them every day which aren’t really issues at all (my mother talks during films, for example; and she has a current obsession with watching thrillers and horror; my father still hasn’t quite fixed the shower, et cetera), I have to say: my parents aren’t really the typical Chinese parents at all. And whilst others may see this as BLASPHEMOUS! and absolutely goddamn terrible to the core, I think it’s rather awesome.

I’ve managed to get them to say “I love you” (and people may argue it has now lost its actual power in Chinese families where I LOVE YOU is basically reserved for nothing). They’re susceptible to hugs. They’re becoming familiar with the deadpan, dry, dark humour and the constant sarcastic tone that my siblings and I all share. They’re getting better at waiting it out and making rational decisions and choices; they are starting to embrace our culture: “man up and get over it”, my brother’s famous “what’s done is done” and my sister’s “it is how it is”.

They’re not, however, too keen on kisses but I’m working on that.

Give me time.



  1. Ha I can imagine exactly how you feel. Do you think we mould our parents to how we want them to be? We’re definitely not like the stereotypical BBCs, it seems.

  2. Brilliant! Love it (=

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