Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Whenever I mention to a new acquaintance that I was born in Jamaica, this often brings about expressions of surprise and confusion. I would then always get the response, "Huh? But you look like you are Chinese." I would then have to end up explaining that my grandparents are from China, and then, that in fact, I am actually second generation Jamaican, as both my parents were also born in Jamaica. This will then cause a moment of further bewilderment, as they then try to comprehend how that is, and since when have there been Chinese people living in Jamaica?
Another point of confusion then comes about, as the two cultures appear quite opposite in nature. The Chinese culture is filled with traditions, honour and persistence. Yet the Jamaican culture is seen as overly laid back and carefree. How can these two cultures possibly co-exist?
Well here we are… After coming to terms that there is such a thing as a Chinese-Jamaican, then comes the line, “Why in the world would you have left such a beautiful country, filled with warm sunshine and beaches? Bob Marley!! One Love. Respect!”
Well in my case, it was simply because my parents made that choice for us to immigrate to Canada, as I was just a young child. In retrospect, coming to Canada was a very brave move. There were many possessions that had to be given up, but it has also enabled a whole new window of opportunities. Surrounded by a large local Chinese-Jamaican community, Canada has combined the best of all worlds.
Having the opportunity to live and share in this multicultural Canadian society becomes the perfect fit!!!