Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bingyi Mei
ESL 100
September 28, 2015
    “On the happy festivals, more than ever we think of our relatives far away.” This is a common saying in Chinese about how people always become homesick when festivals come. The mooncakes being sold in some Chinese supermarkets reminds me to think about Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a time when families reunite. At this moment, I feel homesick and miss all of my family, friends and colleagues in China. Even though I have been far away from some of them about five years since I immigrated to America, I still feel homesick since the relationship between my family, friends and colleagues has been estranged.
    Since moving to Chicago, I have been alienated from my family. Although life is not easy for me in America, I am still looking forward to making more money and building a comfortable home for my family. Therefore, I have spent a lot of time on working and studying English. At the same time, I have lost time to reunite with my family. I feel lonely and become homesick when I get back home after finishing work even though my family lives with me now. I always miss the happy times that I used to spend with my family in China. We used to have a big meal and celebrate traditional festivals together. For example, on Mid-autumn Day, we used to eat mooncakes which are round and symbolize reunion under the moon. We also used to enjoy the beautiful moon, chat with family and listen to stories. Even though we still eat mooncakes in the U.S., we don’t have time to sit together to enjoy the moon because of our different work schedules. Unfortunately, some customs have been lost during our transition to America, and I have lost time to reunite and communicate with my families.

    Another reason I feel homesick is that I have become alienated from my friends since I immigrated to America. Friendship is an important part in my life; it’s like sunshine that gives me warmth, trust, support, and understanding. I have many good friends in China, and we used to share joy and happiness, but also share troubles and sadness. In our spare time, we went shopping, had picnics, and traveled together. Thus, friendship is meaningful to me. After I immigrated to America, I rarely use internet tools like QQ, WeChat, or use the telephone to communicate with my friends. Sometimes, when I have problems or feel confused, I can’t talk to my friends immediately anymore due to time difference, and I have to solve problems by myself. Even though we still care about each other and keep our friendship in our heart, friendship has become estranged because of long distance and less frequent communication.
    Immigrating to America not only caused the alienation between my family and friends, but also my colleagues. The long working hours make my co-workers and me feel tired and bored, and our relationship started to lack enthusiasm. On the other hand, the relationship between my former colleagues and me in China is totally different. I really miss the time that I worked with my old colleagues. We used to work in close cooperation. We worked like in a big family, and we regarded each other as sisters or brothers. Every time someone needed help, someone stopped his job and provided help. Furthermore, we spent time together after work. We went out to have dinner, sing songs, or barbecue. Conversely, in order to feed the family in this country, my co-workers and I have to work six days a week even during weekends. Sometimes we become tired and bored after long time work, and we rest on different days. Therefore, I communicate with my co-workers rarely after work, and our relationship are kept at a distance.

    Adapting to American life has been really a big challenge for me, and I have become alienated from my family, my friends and my colleagues during the transition. “One cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I have lost close contact with many parts of my life, and I get homesick, but I have become stronger, more courageous and more independent. Everything hard I try today leads to my better life tomorrow. I am sure that I will build other good relationships between my family, friends and my co-workers if I keep trying my best. 

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