“My time at Dartmouth has taught me the importance of storytelling – telling my story, hearing others’ stories, and using these stories to weave a collectivity here at Dartmouth. I’m originally from Southern California, and this area is such a beautiful crossroads of different cultures and ideas. But it’s not enough for me to say that I’m from Place X, and my parents are from Place Y. I’m “from” the story of immigrants chasing that sweet American dream, of being a woman of color, of finding that liminal space between what it means to be Asian and American. So when people ask me “Where are you from?” or they catcall me on the street saying “Ni hao ma!” I can only think, “You’re not even scratching the surface of this story.”
“I’m from the dreams of my immigrant parents.
They came to America, deceived.
Relatives back home still say
So and so owns a successful business
So and so lives in a big home with a big American lawn
So and so is rich and well respected
What they don’t hear of 6,819 miles away is the lie.
Of living in a country where your language is broken down and reformulated on national television
Of living in a country where your food is sanitized and purified until it is white enough for consumption
Of living in a country where your small store is just collateral damage in the war of a divided nation
The lie of the American Dream.
They came to America because they believed.
Now they believe in me.”