I am a born Vietnamese, and Chinese American. For more than a decade I have made many friends coming from diverse cultures. I recall one friend back in high school that demonstrated the importance of one's own private culture, and language. From this experience with my friend, Hong, I realized that families who had a strong cultural, and language practice at home had a very stable and functional family. Individuals who embrace their culture, and language broadly tend to pass on the wisdom of a rich culture on to the next generation. Hong's family demonstrated how out of sync, I was with my own language and culture. My family was losing its Vietnamese roots.
Hong's family strictly conversed in Cantonese daily, while my family mainly spoke in English and southern Vietnamese. Going to the Hong's home at first made me feel Alienated. I would see Hong's entire family speak in their own Language, and occasionally speak some English to me. Simple words or sentences such as, hi, hello, how are you, and good-bye were used. It was interesting to see my friend switch sides of language as soon as he stepped home. His family seemed to have a special connection to each other, culturally. I would see Hong, and his father have a discussion on Bruce Lee in their own private language. Every word that Hong spoke flowed smoothly, and was interpreted well by his father. Hong's father also spoke in Cantonese, and argued against what Hong thought of Bruce Lee. They had an interesting debate in Cantonese. There was never an incident in the misinterpretation of language. As a result the family was in a stable condition. During this time my family had problems. My brother and I would speak English 75% percent of the time, while my mother would speak both languages, my father speaking Vietnamese. At dinner we would socialize about many subjects, and our daily lives. My father would talk in Vietnamese about his work, and I would talk about my day in English. My dad...
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