Family Tree Exercise
My grandparents from my mother’s side of the family were both born in China and resided in a small town their entire life. My grandmother—Po Po, goes by the name of Ling Tan; and my grandfather—Gung Gung, is called Chau Yi Chen. Both of them lived in the same village and were tied together through arrange marriage which is a very popular tradition in China. Due to China’s one child policy, my grandfather grew up with no siblings because it was illegal to give birth to more than one child. Unless the family is within the minority and falls under certain circumstances, the family would be fined heavily if they give birth to addition children. Grandfather Chau Yi worked as a farmer to help support his family; and Grandmother Ling was born in a middle class family and had an older brother—Tim Chi Tan. Being a middle class family had given her family the ability to pay off their fine for having a second child. Granduncle Tim Chi left home in 1958 hoping for a better future in life, but he has never returned home ever since—neither did he contact the family. Therefore, I do not have much info about him and my mother would forbid me asking. Nevertheless, my grandmother grew up helping her parents in a small Chinese restaurant until she married my grandfather. After my grandparents were married for two years, they gave birth to my mother named Yan Ru Chen and a younger brother named Chang Yi Chen. Uncle Chang Yi worked at a restaurant as a waiter during daytime and a delivers newspaper early in the morning. Uncle Chang Yi left home in 1984 in attempts to seek a better life by swimming across the border to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, he failed his first attempt and was deported back home. Knowing that the opportunities in China are very limited, my grandmother cannot stand seeing her son’s potential to succeed trample in waste. She exhausted her savings to payoff generals for my uncle to reach Hong Kong safely—undocumented. His second attempt to...
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