Growing up as the only girl with an Asian background in my primary school years, besides my own sister, definitely shaped who I am today. As a young child, I remember being self-conscious bringing dumplings to school for lunch. Excited to chow down on some delicious, carefully wrapped Shanghai-style dumplings, I opened my tupperware container only to be greeted by comments from all my friends that they could smell something disgusting.
I remember blaming my mum for embarrassing me. Looking back, I didn’t realise how lucky I was that my mum took the time and care to provide me with a tasty, nourishing meal from our Chinese culture. As the years passed and I moved schools, I met different people.
One day, a curious friend asked to try one of my dumplings, and they absolutely loved it! From that point on, more and more friends were asking if they could have one of my mum’s dumplings until I had very little for myself. My mum’s dumplings became something that I was so proud to bring to school.
I realised how silly I was for ever being ashamed of them when I was younger. It taught me that if I liked something, I shouldn’t be ashamed and that sometimes it is people around you who are simply just unaware and uncomfortable with something that is different to them. It is something that I’ve taken upon myself as an adult to be open-minded and to be proud of who I am.