Thursday, August 14, 2008

Away From Home (written by Grace)

this is grace's writing. grace was having trouble with posting, so she sent to me to try. here it is!

Every journey has its end. When the end comes, memories remain. All the beautiful memories in this trip make me feel obliged to keep it somewhere I can always recall. It is the people here making this place feel like home when I was...
Away From Home
Ellis Island, a famous tourists attraction today, has been witnessing millions of Eurpean immigrants leaving their homes, heading for the great expedition which gave birth to what is America today. Hundreds of years later, when I was standing here, I wish I could find out the stories behind them. What were they thinking when facing the unknown world? What gave them the courage?

One of my friends had a conversation with me recently about what to do after graduation. I suggested finding a job in Beijing, Shanghai or other big cities. Hearing this, she strongly opposed just because these places were “too far from home”. She might be a little too overwhelmed, but it is, undoubtedly, an important part in Chinese culture that one should stick to their homeland. This can be proven by countless poetries, novels and other Chinese literatures expressing people’s sentiment towards theirs homes, which is so strong that war, poverty, even diseases can never shake it at all.

“Home, Sweet home” is a universal term but interpreted in different ways. Many Chinese, including me, have this mindset that home is the place where you were born. While, an western saying is that “home is where you hang you heart”, which means, home is not necessarily one’s birthplace but the place where you have a sense of belonging. Under these two principles, in tough times, some people make every effort to stick to their homeland, while others, who are more adventurous, try to make a new place feel like home by speaking the language, making new friends, being a part of the community.

I have been encountering plenty of “cultural shock” this summer. What impressed me most is how the concepts and understandings of “home” in both countries differ. Such dicoveries, even though they may not be correct, help to broaden my mind and understand what a “global citizen” really is.I am very grateful for this oppotunity and hope this will not be a “once”-in-a-life-time experience.

No comments: