During the Eddie Adams Workshop, I ventured closer than close to home to explore a personal story - the Asian American immigrant experience. My parents immigrated with my sister and I from Taiwan to the United States at an early age. Growing up, my mother and father lived between the two worlds, struggling between American assimilation and holding on to our Taiwanese roots. Their Asian American experience continues within my sister and I today.
My mother Isabel spends half her time in Taiwan to care for our 102 year old grandfather - clinging on to the last of our Taiwanese family roots. On increasingly rare good days, he recognizes his daughter. At times, Taiwan feels more like home for my mother.
My father Jeffrey roots himself firmly within American assimilation. On Saturdays, he coaches basketball at Chinese school, encouraging more Asian American representation within the local little league. The first of his family to receive education past elementary school, my father strives for the American dream for himself and our family through hard work and dedication as software engineers in the tech industry. He often lectures in Chinese:
“A always equals A no matter what language. No one can ever tell you otherwise in discrimination based off your background. Engineering gives us equal opportunity as long as we’re willing to put in the hard work. There are no free lunches.”
“Sometimes I wonder if the Asian American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.” - Steve Yeun