serotonin

Canada

hi what's happening this can't be happening thank you for all the support guys

Message to Readers

any reviews are highly appreciated! ^^

Dandelion

April 19, 2021

https://drive.google.com/file/d/188LddYHrkhAOsvQhM-9v_j2_KoYDwsrJ/view?usp=sharing

They call me a dandelion.

They call me a dandelion because I used to have a golden nest of petals, nectar rich as the culture on a pedestal beneath my skin.

There was a time when each casual phrase was worth praise from my Chinese kin because “wow, your speaking is great for a foreigner!”

I used to have a world to myself, glowing with secrets in scarlet lanterns - I’d make people’s heads turn with the bright red thread in my veins while Mom complained that Chun Jie Wan Hui ran way past my bedtime.

I used to hold in the blood of my hand this bright red thread that wound across the Atlantic like a successful immigrant story, but tectonic plates are shifting, and every morning I’m finding “Oh Canada” remind me there’s a lot that can go wrong with a distance as wide as an ocean.

I used to embrace the smell of people smoking, I used to see crinkly eyes and wry laughter and think this, this is who I am, I used to know that each extended family member would, upon seeing me, press their hands into mine and tell me how I’ve grown, I used to think that just existing to grow was enough. They call me a dandelion.

Set the scene: road trip Chinese restaurant. At the sound of Mandarin musings the storeowners abandoned their fusion facade, jumping on us with “Where do you come from?” “Oh my God, how far have you travelled?”.

Their humble storefront became a mansion, and enthusiasm was only dampened by the illiterate thirteen-year-old in the corner who couldn’t order for herself.

Instead of kung-pao chicken and spring rolls we dined on egg-tomato stir-fry and steamed rice bowls, yet even as I gulped down their offerings in silence I knew the lie in “you are what you eat” - that’s idealistic at best, it’s more “you eat what you wish you were and let God figure out the rest”.

The other day my grandfather asked Dad whether he knew of any translator apps to communicate with my sister and I as if maybe technology can compensate for the perfect retirement that’s slipping away with each one-word reply. 

He’ll never learn that I learned about my ancestral homeland through white-paged tomes and white history teachers who pronounce the leader of the CCP “Mow”, but I’d be a hypocrite to blame them now because it’s not like I can pronounce my own last name - there’s this cruel game my tongue likes to play where I try to nail the perfect balance between “hi-a” and "shi-a", and it dangles the key to the vocal resonating chamber I am too whitewashed to claim. 

And when people fetishize slanted eyes and traditional dress, I feel as if it’s not my mess to clean because it doesn’t mean anything when you’ve never donned a qipao outside of Kindergarten Culture Day.

They call me a dandelion because I am a ball of white fluff, ugly remnants of a once-beautiful flower destined to disperse in the fields of a nation that isn’t mine.

I call myself a dandelion because I’m a weed with an identity crisis, and that identity crisis is Western education, and the melting pot is cross-pollination, except the difference is when I blow away in the wind my wish will never come true.
1. Chun Jie Wan Hui is an annual Chinese New Year TV programme aired by the government.
2. My last name is Xia.
3. The cheongsam, also known as the qipao, is a type of body-hugging dress of Manchu origin. (Wikipedia)

Print

See History
  • April 19, 2021 - 7:46pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

21 Comments
  • AbellePuppy34

    THIS WAS AMAZING AND SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!


    13 days ago
  • WrenBirdWrites

    Re: Thanks! :D


    15 days ago
  • ~wildflower~

    Oh wow, this is absolutely STUNNING! AMAZING work!!! The flow of the piece seemed so effortless! I am in awe of your writing abilities. This is a very well deserved win. Congratulations!


    16 days ago
  • YW_H

    Congratss!!! this is amazing!


    16 days ago
  • DivineEuphoria

    I absolutely love this! It's so beautiful! Congrats!! You deserve it


    16 days ago
  • Phia

    This is so gorgeous and I love how unique the description is. I've personally tried to shake off my Chinese identity and I just want you to know that it never leaves you. For better or for worse :). Congrats on winning!


    16 days ago
  • Khadeejah bint Malik

    “wow, your speaking is great for a foreigner!”
    CONGRATULATIONS!! I love your recitation!! Well deserved <3


    17 days ago
  • barelybear

    This is AMAZING! I loved the dandelion metaphor, and the ending was so heartbreaking. This spoken word has showed me your perspective and it’s something that has hit me hard - I’ll carry it through my future. Congrats on the win!


    17 days ago
  • Writing4Life

    Wow....this is breathtaking. Your performance is nothing short of extraordinary; the power and rawness in your voice is insane. The way you made a poem in a seemingly story format is so clever; congratulations!


    17 days ago
  • beth r.

    congrats on a well-deserved win!


    18 days ago
  • Ava Marie

    This is so good!!! The fluidity in your reading was impeccable!! Congrats!!


    18 days ago
  • Awesome Sienna

    Wow! So beautiful! Love all of the metaphors! Congratulations!


    18 days ago
  • jellybean568

    Wow! This is really beautiful, I love the way you wove the shifting meaning of a culture in a compelling narrative rooted with the dandelion metaphor- so cool!


    18 days ago
  • WrenBirdWrites

    All I can even say is Wow. This is just amazing, and I- wow.


    18 days ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Woah. Oh my goodness this is fantastic.
    "but I’d be a hypocrite to blame them now because it’s not like I can pronounce my own last name"
    That hits hard shoot.
    "They call me a dandelion because I am a ball of white fluff, ugly remnants of a once-beautiful flower destined to disperse in the fields of a nation that isn’t mine."
    The way you twisted the metaphor is so stunning I'm in awe.
    Congratulations.


    18 days ago
  • Avril

    This is heartbreaking and so beautiful!! Your voice carries so much emotion, it's impossible to not be affected when hearing it. And the whole metaphor of the dandelion is brilliant. Congratulations :)


    18 days ago
  • Squirrel Girl

    Wow, you have a very powerful story and do a wonderful job of performing!
    Congratulations :)


    18 days ago
  • FantasyOtter12

    Wow you performed this so well! Congrats :)


    18 days ago
  • rwong

    amazing!! well-deserved win--congrats!!


    18 days ago
  • ~Zoe N~

    Congrats!


    18 days ago
  • psithurism

    Congratulations!


    18 days ago