After immigrating to the United States at age 8, I only visited Hong Kong twice again: summer 2010 and this 2016/17 winter break trip. My entire extended family missed the important milestones in my life through childhood and teenage years, and my memories of my relatives are ones from an eight year old's perspective. While my family enjoy listening to me talk about my life (and reading this blog), I often felt as if I didn't know my own family members.
There is one memory that I vividly remember. In high school, I overheard another student complaining about how her grandmother was overprotective. Of course, I didn't know this student personally so I can't pass any judgments. However, I was envious; I wish I'm privileged enough to complain about having a caring family member that lives nearby and is able to partake in my everyday life. When I was in Hong Kong, some of my family thought they were being super long-winded with life lectures with me. I didn't mind. They were making up for the five and a half years that they didn't lecture me. It will be another year before I can sit across from them at the table and listen to them tell me about "how a young woman should be extra careful when she's alone in a big city."
To make up for lost time, I decided to start a long-term digital storytelling project. Even within the Chinese heritage, I feel that family history isn't intentionally passed down to the next generation. I never really heard stories of "how my great-great-great grandfather was a (_______) man who did (______). " My digital storytelling project would be a form of oral family history in video form. Over the course of my trip, I interviewed as many family members as I could, conducting each interview in Cantonese. Through this project, I learned the personal stories of each person: their childhoods, struggles, and successes. An uncle who I use to think was intimidating (because he had a deep voice) actually shared my views in politics and is very easy-going. An aunt who is in nursing also loves the visual arts as a child. Not only did my project allowed me to get closer with my family, it also gave an opportunity for family members to learn and understand each other. I hope that my finished project will bring a sense of understanding and nostalgia for everyone. For privacy reasons, I will not be sharing any video content on this blog; however, here are some questions that I asked my relatives:
- What were your favorite (and least favorite) subjects in school?
- How old were you when you had your first job? What did you do?
- What do you consider your proudest achievement?
- If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?
- How do you want others to remember you by?
The musical was held at the Lyric Theatre of the Hong Kong Performing Arts Institute in Wan Chai. The theatre was amazing and the musical itself was identical to the Broadway production. Heading into the musical, I already knew most of the music numbers; however, I didn't know the plot, so it was a great experience for me to watch the story unfold. In all honestly, I felt that the plot itself was extremely relevant to modern society and was an indirect critique of societal views and norms.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. I clean when I'm stressed. I blog for fun.
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