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My Boy, He is Seventeen

Time 0:03:20


I was born and raised in Shanghai; I graduated from university in 1989, fortunately, I had my education free, and I was guaranteed job. My wife and I experienced China’s economy take off and we benefited from that growth, but not always. In 2011, we took one month and half to find a good school for my boy, through all our possible channels. You needed connections to get a good school for your child. Till that moment, I asked myself, “What are me and my wife looking for?” “If we have to fight for our child’s education, are we really enjoying our economy growth?” That was the moment we had that idea to change our life, to move somewhere. Two years later we arrived in Prince Edward Island.

One snow storm day in December, we explained the Canadian education system to our sad kid; he wanted to go back to his familiar city, he missed his friends…… very long talking….I was silent at end of that talking. I asked myself and I asked my wife, “Did we make the right decision to move Canada? Are we really ready for such great changes? Will our boy be really happy for that change? Will our have more future opportunities? ….. I remembered my father’s story: He moved to Shanghai in 1947, and it was civil war in China after the Japanese invasion. My father was 17 years old, he sailed to Shanghai, leaving his parents behind. He slept on the street on his first night in Shanghai. The only possession he had, was clothes…….now we are big family with 11 people, my father always says, I was 17 years old, I moved to Shanghai alone…. I didn’t move alone but I did decide to move my family far from our home in Shanghai, with anticipations for ourselves and my young boy.

There are two pictures I see in my mind; one picture is in black and white- it is a picture of my father when he moved to Shanghai when he was 17 year old. He just wanted to leave his hometown for better life. The second picture is in colour- it is a picture of my 17 year-old boy when we immigrated to Canada.

My boy, you will have many colours in your future, not only black and white.

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