UBC Undergraduate Research

Roots of Belonging : Dis/connection of an Immigrant Child Wu, Yu Chiao Maya


Leaving a home to set up a new home elsewhere is as much a source of excitement as it is a source of sorrow. We often end up in a double-bind of experiencing sadness for leaving behind people we love and cherish, and also struggling with the loneliness of social isolation and cultural adjustment in a new environment. This is especially difficult for children who, while culturally and linguistically adjusting, also end up shouldering the domestic load of being the liaison between their families and the outside world. And sometimes, all it takes is that one serendipitous encounter with that one individual who helps change perspectives, provides assurances, and gives confidence to the immigrant child to know how to find a niche for themselves in this new cultural environment. If you had been in a similar situation, who was that one person for you – or perhaps it was a group of people? And what changes occurred as a result of that encounter? Read through Maya’s beautifully illustrated story of just such an encounter and I dare you to not feel like smiling at the end.

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