Buzzfeed: “27 Signs You Were Raised By Immigrant Parents”

“27 Signs You Were Raised By Immigrant Parents”

So many, if not all of these resonate with my childhood. Our family immigrated from Taiwan. My parents brought with them and held onto traditional Chinese culture that they grew up with.

One of the main factors that creates many of these “27 signs”, or unique situations, growing up is a language different from English. For our family, we spoke Mandarin Chinese at home. This led to unique linguistic experiences growing up, such as (but not limited to):

    • constantly translating for my parents even when not linguistically equipped (such as calling the credit card company when I was 12)
    • not knowing how to discuss more serious or complex issues (such as identity, passion, or sex) with my parents
    • not knowing many aspects of mainstream American culture that Americans usually become familiar with unconsciously mainly through language exposure, such as American idioms or sayings (“have a good one”), songs (The Beatles), communication skills (small talk)…
    • knowing only the Chinese words for some things, such as fish (usually ordered at Chinese restaurants while eating with my parents)
    • pronouncing words differently, such as saying “Coast-co” for the company “Costco”
    • having to constantly take Chinese classes to “remember my roots”
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