My Cultural Identity

Week 46 – February 1, 2021 – What is this all about?

It’s been an interesting week. I have been prolonging this blog post for different reasons. First, I needed some mental space to step back and reflect. Second, I serendipitously engaged in different situations this week where my cultural identity is coming into my consciousness. Third, I need the time to blog and Monday seemed like the best day. Teacher candidates are officially in practicum today and I was working on the weekend to ensure they were all ready. Ok. I’m ready to write.

I was looking at old photos to add to this blog. My older siblings often share these photos with me on my birthday. They were easy to find. I chose these two photos for two reasons: (1) my mom looks great; (2) it looks like we are living our best Canadian life. I don’t even know what that means. Don’t get me wrong. My mom and dad immigrated into Canada with my sister, who was two, to start a better life in Canada. They moved to Prince Rupert, BC because my dad could find a job. They bought this house on 8th Avenue East. And, they did the best they could to give us a good life.

Now that I’m 50 and in a time where Truth and Reconciliation and Call to Action are at the forefront of my work in addition to the craziness on social and cultural unrest with Black Live Matter and the shared existence of BIPOC people, I awakened to my own identity and tempered with the question of “Who am I?” I am currently reading “The Skin We’re In” and attended a presentation by Shelley Moore about identity and who defines one’s identity. Although I am learning more about Indigenous ways of knowing in context to mathematics education, I’m learning more about my identity.

I’ve been having a few woke moments about my cultural identity. On one level, I realized that I am a product of colonialism and assimilation. I don’t have my language. I don’t know my culture. I’ve been to Hong Kong once, but I don’t even know where I am from except that I was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC, graduated from Prince Rupert Secondary, and lived on Prince Rupert Blvd. I had a very good life, one that my parents made for me, and I can see my privilege. However, I am struggling now with my identity as a settler, Chinese-Canadian as I learn more about local Indigenous peoples and wrestling with the idea of decolonizing my pedagogies.

This is where I am today. I am still learning. I am a person of action and hope to unravel further about my heritage, my cultural identity, and how I can do better in what I do in light of the TRC and Calls to Action as an educator and citizen of Canada.

#pandemicreflections #pedagogicaljourney #decolonization