Day 109 of 365

If you know me I have this interest in the Chinese culture and I love talking to the new cast from there and learning more about how they think and learning new things about their culture and lives.

There are so many stereotypes about our friends from the other side of the world, some slightly accurate and some completely inaccurate.

In the Chinese culture, respecting and revering your elders is such an integral part of their lives. It is very rare for a child to say no to a parent about choices that they want to make in their own lives, they generally go with what the parent wants for them because they do not want to offend their family or bring shame. I'm assuming for boys it isn't as unheard of but for girls, at least the girls I have met, they are afraid to disappoint their parents.  Even when it comes to dating and marriage.  So, when my friend shared with me how she ended up working with me, I knew what I needed to share... my appologies if I don't have everything exactly right but I hope I am conveying the emotion behind her story.

She was born in a town toward Northern China in 1989. Her mother became ill during child birth to the point where she would lose the baby or lose her life and her father (her mother's husband) was called and asked to come to the hospital and make a decision who to save and he refused both requests, he was at his girlfriends apartment. Thankfully all was well and mother and beautiful daughter survived. She told me when she was a few years old she remembered that her father would smoke in front of her and mother would get very upset and ask him to go into another room because it made it hard for her daughter (my friend) to breathe, but her father didn't care. Eventually her mother divorced her father, which is very unusual in China. Her mother did everything she could to help her daughter succeed by having two jobs even now to help her daughter have a better life.

When she was deciding where to study her mother made many suggestions based on where family was living, everywhere from Australia to Boston, but she did not want to go, she wanted to study in England. When she finally had the nerve to tell her mother, she already had an offer pending so all that was left was to tell her she was going. Her mother did not speak to her for three days. She was afraid for her daughter to be alone without family in a strange country. But finally she relented and allowed her to go.

While studying in England she found out about the program here in the states working and studying for a year at the House of Mouse. Out of 10 Universities they would only take an average of 6 cast members from each. She went through three interviews and then had to wait about a month for the answer. Out of all of the students that applied she was chosen.

I don't know what it is like to be a mother, but if I were here Mom I know I would be so proud. When I asked her my famous question I ask all of the girls from China, "What would your family do if you met and fell in love with an American boy?" Most of the time their response is the same, that it wouldn't happen. Her answer was very different. She told me, "I am very independent, but if I do meet someone my mother told me to make sure he is completely in love with me."

I don't believe that will be a hard thing for her to find. She has made it this far and I know she will do great things. I feel so blessed to have met her and for her to consider me her American Mom, while she is here, and that she felt comfortable enough to share with me her story. I hope she inspires you as well.

Love, peace and lotus blossoms

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