final - Han Hu Asian American Studies 10 Professor Lee TA...

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Han Hu Asian American Studies 10 Professor Lee TA Ibanez Due Date Dec. 7 th , 2005 Third Generation of the Hu family "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - Emma Lazarus (inscribed on the Statue of Liberty) This is the secret of America: a nation of people with the fresh memory of old traditions who dare to explore new frontiers.” When I set my foot on American soil at the tender age of 13 back in 1998, my feeling was exactly as President John F. Kennedy described in the opening quote. I took a deep breath, and strode forward in the gigantic LAX Airport. I had never seen so many kinds of people before: White, Black, Hispanics, Middle-Eastern people, and others. It was as if the world was condensed into one huge melting pot, here in Los Angeles. Earlier this quarter, I had the chance to visit the Statue of Liberty. The statue was a gift from France to the Americans after United States declared its independence. It was not as tall or big as I thought it would be, but I felt the symbolism and the importance to the immigrants and those that arrived to the Land of the
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Free earlier than I did. As I approached the Statue of Liberty from the boat, emotions were filling up my heart and mouth. I could not but imagine myself as one of that European Protestant that decided to escape in the 18 th Century. Suddenly, I started picturing my grandfather, who fled from China to Hong Kong, then to Taiwan, earlier in his life and what journey he must had gone through. Two years earlier, I had to fly to Canton, China from Taiwan to go through an interview process with U.S Custom. The person that interviewed me was a tall white man with blond hair, a typical Caucasian in my mind at that time. He asked me, “Why did you come to America?” Not knowing any English whatsoever at that time, my dad had to translate for me. Once I understood his question, I, without any hesitation, yelled out “NBA!” Everyone else, even the ones that had been waiting in line forever, laughed aloud. That, and McDonald’s and Disney Cartoons, were my only contact with the western culture. I could not understand what was going on, so I laughed with them. Little did they know that this young boy was filled with ambition and hunger to seek a better education as well as opportunity. Many before me, even in my family as I will later write about, had taken the risk to leave their home country in seeking a better life. President Kennedy, who died fifty years earlier before I moved here, portrayed America as the place where the world comes together, all seeking to achieve THE American Dream. My family, ever since my grandfather’s generation who was born in 1911, the year that the father of China and Taiwan declared the independence of the two nations from the foreigners, had been moving until now. We were always on the run, but our circumstances and situations differed, and the previous generation had a tremendous influence and effect on the next. From the Hu Village in An
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This note was uploaded on 03/05/2008 for the course AAS 10 taught by Professor Lee during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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final - Han Hu Asian American Studies 10 Professor Lee TA...

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