Monday, July 13, 2009

"All the Brown Girls"

The image of that girl, in awe at seeing "all the brown girls" just like her at camp, sticks in my head. As Sue wisely put it in the comments:

I really think that camp is mostly about hanging out with a LOT of kids who are there due to similar circumstances and heritage. My girls didn't learn a whole lot new about Chinese culture, because they attend Chinese school and learned similar things there. Some of the new things they can't remember (like new songs, words, etc.) But what they don't articulate, but I really think they feel at some level, is that this is the one place where they are among a LOT of kids who are like them... born in one culture and raised in another. Which, in a way is a culture in an of itself.

Maya clearly feels that sense of belonging, of sameness. I posted the first part of this video already, and noted how surprised I was that at age 5 Maya could already realize that being Chinese in an Anglo world felt "different." In the second half, she tries to articulate the feeling of being in a place where she is one of 238Chinese girls under one roof.




And again, let me say, I LOVE my Flip! Maya usually won't talk to me about hard issues (not like Zoe will!), but she'll talk to the camera about them. . . .

5 comments:

wblossom said...

I totally agree with Sue. Both of my girls left feeling so proud to be Chinese. It wasn't from what they learned, it was just being around a special group of friends the were just like them.
On the drive home, I decided to try some Malinda style Q&A with Kaylee (Emily was asleep), I asked her how it felt to be adopted and she told me "it feels good because it's like being part of two worlds. I have a Chinese world because I lived in China and have some Chinese friends, but I also have my Texas world because I live in Texas now." I found it a very interesting response from a 6 year old, especially one who normally doesn't have any interest in talking about adoption.

Mi Hilo Rojo said...

Hey ladies!
Yesterday was the question day! Mei Lin was watching the photos and she asked, Mama why we all in that picture are having black hair? Look mama just the teachers have blonde hair. My real real real mom in China is having black hair like me? AHHHHHH! I talked with both with Lia and her. I don't know if I did right because I dont want to leave the conversation like that. Finally Lia said mama I love this flag, can I love bith flags and was the China and USA .

Everything in less than 20 minutes!

Chinazhoumom said...

You know, the picture made me think that for every little girl in the room - there was a story - a story about a family (person) far away in China that made a decision I can't imagine making - and of little girls of all ages - growing up in a land far far away from where they were born...

I wish there was a database somewhere that gathered every daughter/son of China - that has been adopted - such things as dob where found/by whom/picture etc - maybe that is my calling...
C in FL

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was thinking that too, even though most of those kids were there due to similar circumstances, they each have a unique story, the very beginnings of which, most of us don't know.

When asked, my younger daughter (age 6), said that she likes that at camp she is not the only one adopted from China. Even though, for the past 3 years, she has been in the same class with one other child adopted from China, there are obviously many other times that she IS the only one.
Sue (aka anonymous)

malinda said...

WB: I LOVE Kaylee's answer! Very insightful!

ML: Thanks for sharing all the questions!