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“Mommy, I really want to be Chinese…”

Today in the San Francisco Chronicle, a non-Chinese speaking mother blogged about sending her daughter to a Mandarin immersion school. She writes:

Since school started, I have stepped back and watched Paris learn Chinese and I’ve put forth little effort to learn about the language, the country, the culture.

And then last week in the car Paris said, “Mommy, I wish that I was born in China. I really want to be Chinese.”

I was entirely unprepared for this comment, so rather than offer up words of wisdom, I simply asked, “Why?”

“I want to celebrate the Chinese New Year, like the Chinese do. Mommy, we have to get haircuts and clean the house before the new year celebration starts. And I want a red envelope. And did you know that it’s the Year of the Ox? And we need new clothes. And we need to have a special dinner with Chinese food…”

“Sweetheart, you don’t have to be Chinese to celebrate Chinese New Year. We can celebrate the holiday.”

Read the full post here.