I am a mommy’s girl. I don’t usually like to admit this because it makes me seem weak. I don’t really know how to explain this. Whatever my mom says, even the most unreasonable or ridiculous statement, my mind almost automatically tends to agree and says yes. Maybe that is the magic parents have over their children, especially Asian kids. It’s especially true for me.
My mom is an extraordinary woman and also the most important woman in my life. She is the most fascinating woman I have ever known. Writing about her is new territory for me. For the longest time, I did not want to admit her power over me. In actuality, she does have a big impact on my life. In many ways, writing about her makes me understand myself even better.
My mom’s name is Yeung Ching Nei. ‘Ching’ stands for green & lime color. ‘Nei’ stands for a beautiful girl. Yeung, is my mom’s last name which is also my last name if you haven’t noticed already. My mom was born in 1946 in a small village called ‘May Chien’ in southern China. She is the second oldest child in the family. She has one older sister, two younger brothers and a younger sister. Her older sister, Annie, is about nine years older. When my mom had just turned 10, Annie left home and started working in the city. My mom immediately became the big sister in the house. She took care of business, all of her younger siblings, as well as the house work and the cooking. I remember seeing pictures of my mom in family portraits. One had her crying with a frown on her face. Some showed her facial expressions full of anger and dissatisfaction. It was priceless. My mom said she was fighting for her younger brother because he just got beaten up. She could become a bully for a cause. J
My grandfather moved the entire family to Beijing when my mom was 14. My grandfather was an army general during World War II. I guess my grandfather thought it would be better for the family to live in the capital city. My mom spent her teenage years in Beijing. She had a beautiful voice and became quite famous during her high school years because of her talent for singing. I think she really enjoyed those times because her eyes shine whenever she talks about her past performances.
When my mom turned 18, she was accepted to the Central Music Academy in
My mom stayed in that cold part of country until her late twenties when her application for moving to Hong Kong was approved. She told me she still remembers her first impression of Hong Kong. There were so many chickens available to eat and it was fascinating to her. There was no meat where she had been in northern China. In my mom’s eyes, Hong Kong was land not only full of opportunities, but also full of many chickens.
After 35 years living in the city of many chickens and opportunities, my mom no longer starves for meat. She has adapted and become part of the 7 million people, hustle and bustle, that makes up Hong Kong. Underlying it all, are values of financial security. Getting money. Getting good grades. Getting a good job. Having security. Having a stable life style.
The more I think about this, there is no way my mom wanted to settle for just a life of security and a boring life style. I know deep down, she remembers the Ching Nei on stage singing in front of a large audience in China. People clapping for her, and giving her a standing ovation full of enthusiasm and appreciation. She longed for that public recognition. That was and is her dream.
It is absolutely funny that now her daughter is making her own dreams come true. Even though I am not going to tell my mom about www.EdithYeung.com or my speaking career right at this moment. I know that deep down she will be proud. I am not telling her only because I don’t want her fear of failure get into my way.
Mom I wish you could know. I am not doing this only for me or only for those who will listen to what I have to say. I am doing it for the both of us, you and me.
Just wait Mom. You will see.
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