Emily L's Story
Emily discusses how her culture, once embarrassing to her, has helped her shape into the growing and caring person she is today.
Reflecting now, it's sad to say but I was definitely embarrassed at the time when I had to do all this or if my parents didn't understand or spoke to me in another language, like in public and I would have to translate it, I thought it was a little bit embarrassing– I don't know, I don't really want to talk, be different –I don't want to stand out in front of other people and so that was kind of like how I felt growing up.
I did think resentment, I did a bit too just because I wish things were a little easier. I think that just because I had this role in my life it definitely made it a lot harder for me to be a kid and a student. I had to worry about making sure that my brother was taken care of as well in the school aspect of things, but now I'm just reflecting on it and I'm kind of grateful that they [my parents] didn't know how to speak English because now I know another language because of it and I don't mind helping them now. I'm so used to it that now I care for people a lot more deeply just because I've grown up to have to care for people, so I think its definitely made me grow as a person and mature in a way where it feels like, “oh this is not embarrassing or it wasn't embarrassing but more so I'm grateful” because I'm still connected to my roots and culture and I'm thankful that I know my language because when I go back to Malaysia I can connect with my family members there too so there's no disconnect really and even though I grew up here and they live across the world in a different society with different cultures, I still feel like I'm a part of the family too.