Writting-Self #2

     Tear-Off Labels 

     Before I moved to Canada, I was living in Guangzhou. It is one of the biggest city in China, many people from different countries go there to do import and export trading.  I frequently saw people of different races walking down the street. I was in grade school (I do not remember what grade I was in, maybe it was grade 1 or 2), I was walking cross the bridge with my mum. It was a Saturday morning in summer, we planned to go to the supermarket to buy some groceries. I walked up stairs on the bridge. Lately, what appeared in my eyes was an African couple. I could only saw their backs because they were walking forwards. They were really tall and skinny compare with my mum and me. I guessed they had a hard time in Africa; they took a long trip from Africa to China was for doing their business, so that they could live a better life. My mum noticed them also, she whispered to me: “Look at their legs, their calves are flat and small, how do they run fast?” I did not know how to answer her, I was silent. That was the very first time I saw people have different colour skin than me.

     Due to lack of life experience, the only way I recognize people was by looking at their appearance applied a certain stereotype to that “group of people”. When I thought of Africans, I started to imagine on a sunny day, a group of people sit on a dry flat land, there are some houses made of straw and yellow mud, people need to walk very far to get water. As I grew up, I gradually learned more about stereotype, culture, ethic, and racism in Canadian high school. By talking with my friends and classmates, I get to know many different countries culture and living conditions. I clearly remembered that one of my classmates said people have clean water to drink in Africa, but most are big cities. The rest part of Africa is poor. Since then, I started to think of an event or an action in a few perspectives. I realized it is a bad thing to have stereotype on people with different races because I did not know what other people went through in their life, I did not have right to judge people by their appearances. If I can go back in time, on that Saturday morning, I would like to give my mum a weird look and say: “You are not them, how can you tell if they run fast or not.”

One thought on “Writting-Self #2

  1. Hi Jessica,
    I really enjoyed how in your story you were honest about what happened and what your mother said. I think it is admirable to admit to humility and knowing when you are wrong. For example at the end of your story when you said “If I could go back in time…I would give my mum a weird look and say: “ You are not them, how can you tell if they run fast or not.” I also liked how you related your new experiences to how you changed your perspective. I completely agree that having more experiences changes your perspective. The only thing that I would work on for next time would be grammar. Although, I understand English is not your first language and grammar is super confusing in English as it is. Overall, I enjoyed your story a lot, I thought it was a great example of showing how experiences can change your outlook on stereotypes.


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