Fujian province is located at the southern coast of China. Since the late 1980s, many industries developed in Fujian. During 1980s, Fujian’s economy and society became terrible in the countryside, and many farmers lost their land to farming because industrial occupied the filed. In addition, industry paid very low salary to the laborers that were from the countryside. Therefore, farmers and industrial workers had fought for the job opportunities, and a lot of men became unemployed. Nevertheless, there were many people that worked hard, but their incomes were still not enough to support their family. Facing the extremely hard economy condition, there was a saying that America had a lot of job opportunities, and many people from Fujian were smuggled into the United States in 1980’s. Those people eventually had sent back a considerable amount of money from the U.S, and gradually, “the fever of going abroad’ in Fujian began. An enormous amount of young men put their life at risk; they left behind their parents, wives and children. Most of the people were smuggled to New York City. My Father also decided to get on a boat in order to be smuggled to the U.S. His trip to the U.S has changed my family’s life; specifically, affecting my mother; and the large Fujianese community.
My mother who was a house wife became a super woman after my father left. She had to take care my father’s parents and three children all by herself. For example, when summer and fall came, she got up early in the morning to help my grandfather work in the field all day along. Between break times, she went home to cook a meal for every family member. When I was a child, I remembered looking into my mother’s eyes, and I knew she was lonely. When the darkness came at night, she would sigh deeply. Furthermore, she encouraged my sister, my brother and me that we all would be going to meet my father in the U.S soon. Over the twenty years of living without her husband, my mother never gave up the hope of being reunited with my father.
During my childhood, I thought my mission was to go to Treasure Island, the land where my father was. I grew up without my father, yet my neighbors often told me that my family would be soon immigrating to the U.S to meet him. I really believed what they had told me. Nevertheless, it wasn’t right. I witnessed a lot of women and children who were my neighbors immigrate to the U.S. because their man had finally gotten papers from the U.S. I remember during my childhood, I was very sad because I not only lost many of my little friends, but also I didn’t hear any good news from my father. My mom always sought a chance for me or my sister to go aboard when we grew up. My mom thought it was a time for us to take responsibility for the family because my father was getting old, and he needed to retire, so one of us needed to make money to support our family. I believed she hoped that her grew up girls would become her prize. Later on, I took an opportunity and was smuggled to the U.S. Deep in my heart, I always knew I would arrive to the U.S soon or later.
A slice of Fujian China is now located in New York City. Due to the many years of immigration, Fujianese people have created Manhattan’s Chinatown. Many of them have built up Chinatown’s streets and commerce with Fujianese culture. They use Fujianese dialect, they have opened Fujianese style restaurants, and they have started bus business. Gradually, the Fujianese social network, like a train, has been established in every corner of New York City. Even more, Fujianese have been labeled as hard-working people in America, even though they didn’t have language skills and other work skills when they arrived. They will wash dishes or cook meal in the restaurant, and they have raised funds to invest and establish businesses. I knew smuggling is dishonorable, but it exposed Fujianese capability to build a wealthy community.
Gradually, I have gradually come to believe that Fujianese was destined to move abroad and look for hope. Many Fujianese smuggled to the U.S, have had a successful life, but some of them have had a tragic life. I am happy that New York Chinatown has all my people there, but I am sad because my family is torn apart. No matter how I feel, the Fujianese people who have become a remarkable put of the urban vocabulary. In reality, Fujianese was not put of the vocabulary in the past two decades, but now Fujianese has its own definition in the dictionary. Many people are aware that Fujianese are hard working, strong and united.