When I was a child, being Asian-American meant breaking wooden chopsticks over a noodle lunchbox, sunny yellow dresses to bring out the sunny yellow of my skin, and laughing with my colorful classmates because we didn’t know yet we were different.
When I grew older, being Asian-American meant seeing for the first time my father’s oil-stained hands from days of toil, and my mother’s quiet strength as she built a home in the middle of a strange language.
Now, as an adult, being Asian-American means learning to love both my cultures all over again, switching between languages like one would switch identities, and finding my common ground in two worlds as different as east and west.
Now, being Asian-American means simply to be me.
© Jade M. Wong
Written for a prompt on Instagram that asks “what does it mean to be Asian-American?”
Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!