It wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized I knew very little about my ancestry. My parents would tell colourful stories about growing up in Vancouver during the 60’s and 70’s; Anecdotes about being sent to English classes in Strathcona and forming friendships with other first-generation Chinese kids, in times where cars lacked seatbelts and the passage along Hastings Street towards the Woodwards building was the centre of the universe.
Growing up, I’d realized that some parts of my family’s history were easier to talk about than others. Language barriers, for one, made it extremely difficult for me to converse with my grandparents beyond short exchanges about my parents’ whereabouts, or when I’d be graduating. It wasn’t till I lived in Asia during my undergrad studies that I became compelled to reconnect with my heritage, especially enjoying precious quality time with my grandparents while they were still healthy and present.
With my impending move to Asia this summer, I felt it was an overdue experience for me to actually sit down with my grandmother and ask the questions that most grandkids get to ask much earlier on. And while I’ve known my grandmother my entire life, it was such a unique and profound experience to reacquaint myself with her life story, and discover intimate details about her childhood.
I thought I would share my experience in time for Mother’s Day. Enjoy.
Cooking with Poh Poh – Part 1: Stirring Up the Past
Cooking with Poh Poh – Part 2: The Ingredients for a Close Family
Producer Devon Wong
Videographer Matthew Tsang
Translator Maggie Lin
Editor Devon Wong