“Aya.” “Ayo.”

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I was packing for my trip, drinking wine and listening to an embarrassing amount of Disney music (and also maybe singing an embarrassing amount) when I was struck with a memory of the last time I’d been to Europe. I…

Pallavi Kottamasu

Pallavi Kottamasu

You can contact Pallavi at pkottamasu@gmail.com

My Father and My Freedom

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  My father has never traveled to or read books about America. Neither is he a fan of American culture and values espousing freedom, independence or individuality. But what he did know was me. As my personality began to form…

Mable, New York

Mable Chan

Mable Chan is the founder of China Personified. Her contact is mablechan@chinapersonified.com.

Yes She Can. But How Far is Too Far?

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Last week, a Facebook post showing a photo of a smiling Chinese student in cap and gown speaking in front of a podium caught my eye. I felt happy and proud of her courage to speak in front of a…

Be American or Be Myself

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It is said that Spring Weekend is the most popular event at Brown. However, being the “most popular” event doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will enjoy it. One time, these concerts with endless music and relentless waves of excitement all…

Fang, Beijing

Fang Guo

Fang is a senior at Brown University. You can contact Fang Guo at fangguo331@gmail.com.

On Being Asian Non-American

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I’m sure many Chinese international students in the US have had this experience before, we are filling in a questionnaire which asks us to provide some basic demographic information, and one of the questions says, “What is your race/ethnicity?” And…

Zara Zhang

Zara Zhang

Zara Zhang is a senior at Harvard. You can contact her at zhang08@college.harvard.edu.

Is it un-Chinese to speak English well?

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“Am I abandoning my Chinese identity when I’m speaking better English every day?” I was stunned. I hardly knew her. She was among a group of college students standing in a semi-circle waiting to talk to me after I spoke…

Mable, New York

Mable Chan

Mable Chan is the founder of China Personified. Her contact is mablechan@chinapersonified.com.

A Stranger In My Own Country

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  When I went back to China two years ago after living in the U.S. for four years, I experienced profound culture shock. I was born and raised in a small city in southern China, but somehow I never felt I…

Shako Liu

Shako Liu

You can contact Shako Liu at sliu@shakoliu.com

How I See Race As a Multiracial Kid

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love…

Sara, DC

Sara Zou

You can contact Sara Zou at sarazou1@gmail.com.

My Long-term Love Affair with Poetry

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I have always wanted to become a poet. I don’t know when it all began, perhaps it was when I first heard the pretty lines of Li Bai recited to me as a part of my bedtime stories, or perhaps…

Xiao Fu

Xiao Fu

Xiao Fu is a writer and English teacher based in New York City. You can contact her at xiaofu@post.harvard.edu.

The Feeling of Being Related

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“My mom said that I was born somewhere near the Gobi desert…it’s in Gan…Su…do you know where it is?”  The seven-year-old girl with beautiful dark black eyes stared at a map of China curiously. As I roughly showed her the…

Fang, Beijing

Fang Guo

Fang is a senior at Brown University. You can contact Fang Guo at fangguo331@gmail.com.

A Chinese View from Paris: East and West

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Since childhood, I always had the notion that the world is divided into two different “worlds”— the West and the East. The McDonalds— it’s western, speaking English —it’s western, and the sense of individualism and freedom— it’s western.   On…

Fang, Beijing

Fang Guo

Fang is a senior at Brown University. You can contact Fang Guo at fangguo331@gmail.com.

When Chinese Is a Neighborhood Asset

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For a learner of Chinese, New York City is a fortuitous place to end up for a job. Especially the borough of Queens, where I currently call home. Within a quarter mile walk of my apartment, there are at least…

Kevin Slaten

You can contact Kevin Slaten at kevinslaten@gmail.com.