Where is My Motherland?

Dear Asian Youth,

Motherland

中國 “Middle Country”

A faraway place, the place of my roots
Where my grandparents and their parents grew
They left the land of their home
For opportunity.

A place that I long for
And wish I knew more about
The place of my roots
That my school and education,
never talked about.

The place of my identity
But what about the other?
A constant battle
That I feel I am losing

The land of “my people”
Or so I am told
But would I belong?
After generations of being gone?

My mother tongue
One I’ve struggled to hold
A language never taught at school
That I have spent years struggling to learn

Sometimes I sit and wonder
What would’ve been
Had my family not left
Had they not gone to another land

What opportunities would I have had?
What education would I have had?
Who would I have gotten to know?
How would I see the world?

Would I stare up and think what could have been?

我係中國人
(I am Chinese)
I am American

Homeland

美國 “Beautiful Country”

The place where I live, the land of my birth
Where my parents grew up
and where I began my search
For identity.

A place that I have struggled to love
And know too much about
The place of my birth
Where school and education
Are the only subjects talked about

The place of my identity
But what about the other?
A constant battle
That I am winning

The land of “many people”
Or so I am told
But do I belong?
In the land I was raised on?

My native language
One I was taught since I was four years old
The language taught in school
That I have spent years, mastering

Sometimes I sit and wonder
What would’ve been
Had my family not left
Had they stayed in the motherland

Would I have had the same opportunities?
Would I have had education?
Would I have met the same friends?
Would I see the world, the way I do?

Would I still question who I am?

I am Chinese
我係美國人
(I am American)

Both are my identities.

– Chris Fong Chew

Cover Photo Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/06/us/coronavirus-race-artists-asian-american-identity.html