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What makes us who we are? What makes us special?
Until i was nine years old i was very much an average Englishman in terms of my own cultural background. My family comes almost entirely from England with the exception of my Grandma on my fathers side who is Scottish. My life took a whole new course, though naturally i didnt know it at the time, when my Dad was introduced to a Chinese ladie one night at a singles club.
My parents had been seperated for 6 years. I was so young at the time i dont remember any of it and to this day i dont know why they seperated. My sister, who is 5 years older than me, asked me around 6 months ago if i wanted to know why our parents got divorced. I said i didnt. Im afraid that it may be that one of my parents did something to cause the divorce and if so im not sure how i would feel towards them then after.
Anyway, my Dad started dating this Chinese ladie, who had two children of similar age to me and my sister. Two years later they were married and we were all living together. I no longer ate chips and beans for my tea, i eat rice and duck. I no longer have a bible in my house, we have a statue of Buddha.
The chinese side of my family actually comes from Malaysia. I have been there three times, each time it has been truly a life changing experience. I cant even begine to escribe how different it is, or begin to imagine what effect such a journey has had on the young boy that was me. They have a huge family and they welcomed me with gifts and gave me a Chinese name, Han-Sim, after the custom of the family (the names of all males of my generation begin with Han). These trips taught me one important lesson: there is much more to the world than Derby, England. I prayed at the temple, met the people and even spoke some of the language (Wah Ein Nee = i love you).
This is my life. This is what shapes me, makes me who i am. Im proud of my family in England and Malalysia. I can only be thankful for the cultuaral diversity that i have been blessed with.