3 ways I’m strengthening my cultural relationship

I’ve spent almost allll of my life in my asian bubble – living in an ‘Asian’ community, going to schools with an asian majority, following cultural expectations from my parents and relatives.

But the thing was, I didn’t fully appreciate it. I just fell into it… and so I took it for granted. I have the chance to experience 2 different cultures (and being in Australia, there are way more than that!) but I just tip-toed on the surface.

So starting a few years ago, I began working on appreciating it more.

  • I started getting curious about my parents past

Can you even believe they had lives before us? Besides the stories they always tell us to make us be more grateful for what we have haha, I wanted to get to know them better. Their experiences and immigration story highlights their resilience and hope in a better future. My mum has always been happy to share all her stories, including her childhood, the people she met on her way to Australia and the unbelievable things that happened.

  • I worked on improving my Vietnamese and Chinese

I practise Vietnamese and Chinese on Duolingo daily (just need to proudly announce that I’m currently on a 676 day streak!) because I’ve been intentional about setting into my routine. I also try to speak my home languages with my parents as much as I can (I add in English when I don’t know the words haha). One of the bigger reasons I want to improve my language skills is to speak with my grandparents and relatives overseas who don’t speak English.

  • I regularly ask my mum for cooking tips

If your mum is anything like mine, then she prides herself on her cooking. She calls me over to try out new dishes and analyses what we order at restaurants, seeing how she can make it at home for a fraction of the cost… I’ve been meaning to learn how to make popular Vietnamese dishes at home (veganised though!) and so I make regular phone calls to get her expertise.

By appreciating my culture, my parents are probably secretly very happy. I haven’t asked them yet but I’ll let you know…

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