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My reason for coming back

By Judy Zhu ( bbs.chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2015-05-15 11:32:20


My reason for coming back

Air China's inaugural direct flight from Beijing to Washington arrives at Dulles Airport in Sterling, Virginia, the United States, on June 10, 2014. Air China launched the direct flight from Beijing to Washington on Tuesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

One day when I asked my friend whether he had any plan to go back, he replied by writing me a long letter. I was deeply touched by his words. I selected out the main parts of his essay, made some minor changes, did a translation based on my understanding and posted it here for you. To return or not is a question many are thinking about. There are only two answers, but reasons vary. From my friend's view, it's related to the cultural difference. Here is the body of the letter.

I met many friends when I went back for a visit to my homeland. As to the topic of returning, most of them suggested not coming back, but staying in the United States, for the sake of future generations as well as myself. They tried to persuade me, seriously and in all earnestness.

Whether to stay or to return, there seems still a long way to go to make the final decision, although I have to face it one day in the future. Perhaps the choice of returning, which sounds a little bit of patriotism -- but not that much.

To myself, the real reason is that there have been bearing the imprints of China in my blood.

My father and I often have long conversations with each other. My father, like many Chinese fathers, has his own idea as to how to cultivate his son. But in the meantime, it is myself to experience my own life. Thus there come inevitably conflicts between us.

Although there exists disagreement, he can still feel comfort, because we are always in the same moral system -- what is right and what is wrong, which is worth being cherished, and which should be abandoned – the foundation of a meaningful dialogue.

The child is the continuation of a human being. In my eyes, the most successful parents are those who are able to become friends of their kids – not caring about their rewards, and not caring about their wealth and rise.

Staying in the States, my kids will definitely grow up in another social system. They may spurn what we used to cherish; while what they think to be precious, are sometimes less valuable to us. What we have sweated, and endured bitter loneliness and great stress to fight for, they can easily obtain.

Maybe we don't understand what they are striving for. When they are struggling to be a rock star, or to be a hip-hop dancer, we are not going to provide any advice or assistance. Perhaps we will pat on his shoulder and encourage him, "good job, young man, no matter what you do, we will be on your side." In the process of his or her growing up, what we can provide is only encouragement, but not sharing.

My senior lab member went to the BASF in Texas after getting his PhD degree. He bought a new villa and upgraded his car in only one year. Then during the haste of his working, his son has been growing up day by day, getting more and more Americanized.

Sometimes he gets lost and is totally blank about what the little boy is talking about. One day, the boy addressed him by calling his name LLH (abbreviation). This pushed him into fury, but he failed to figure out one reason for giving his son a lesson – there seems no law in the States saying that children cannot address their parents by name. It's a kind of sadness to me.

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