Glimpses into Chinese Immigration in Canada The New Republic & The World Journal Vancouver Newspapers

小移民成長故事 《系列報導之八》

Chinese--Canada ; Immigrant children--Canada--Social conditions
Chinese--Canada ; Immigrant children--Canada--Social conditions
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Chinese--Canada;Immigrant children--Canada--Social conditions
何元 ; He, Yuan
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Article from: World Journal(世界日報)
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The Stories of Young Immigrants 《Article Eight of a Series of Reports》
Keywords: Mao, Xueqiang
Taiwan--Taipei ; British Columbia--Vancouver
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Taiwan--Taipei;British Columbia--Vancouver
小移民成長故事 《系列報導之八》 選擇太多心存退路 反而不易走通 毛學强建議新移民 下定生根決心 與律師毛學強交談,對任何一位接受過完整中文敎育的人來說,都會是一大挑戰。他在台灣讀完小學五年級後即隨父母移民來加拿大,迄今已有廿二年,但他在中文運用上的靈活,仍如同律師專業要求般地精準。 現任加拿大 Smith Lyons Torrance Stevenson & Mayer法律事務所全國合夥人的毛學強說,他在台就讀的小學文風鼎盛,作文、演講、投稿等活動未曾間斷, 爲他打下良好中文基礎,但重要的是,即使移民之後,他在加強英語能力的同時, 仍然刻意地保持、提升自己的中文能力。 當年溫哥華的華人不多,中文書刊更是寥寥可數,因此毛家在移民的同時,也運來大批中文圖書。毛學強說,他經常站在家中一牆牆的書櫃前,找書來讀,當時的中央日報海外版更是字句必讀。最特別的是,他在出國後仍一直與小學的同學、老師長期保持書信往來,毛學強說,通信不僅讓他在語言修辭技巧上與時俱進,同時也讓他得以與在台友人保持「思維」上的聯繫。 然而回憶起當年初到此地就學,一句英文都不懂的窘境,一向對自己在語文表達上期許甚高的毛學強,至今仍覺得那是一段「很苦悶」的經驗。 毛學強說,初到此地,語言不通,著實在課堂上沈寂許久。尤其是英文寫作,他在不斷的挫折中嘗試了許久,終於頓悟中、英文不只形體不同,最大差異還是在邏輯思維上,從這時起,他的英文能力才眞正開始大幅進步,到十一 、十二年級左右,終於能夠運用自如,大一時又特別選修了一門結合語文、哲學、政治學精髓的課程,在與師友密集思辯的淬礪下,終於扎下厚實基礎。 毛學強說,他個性內向,不擅於主動交友,然而由於他善於繪畫,這項才藝不僅獲得師長同學的肯定,也幫助他重建自信心,由此交到不少好朋友。他的體認是, 由於自小成長經驗有別,要與其他同學拉近距離確實得花較長時間,但眞正的朋友是能夠接受彼此間差異的。因此,他也建議,在此地交友時,不妨心理上先承認自己與他人的不同,順其自然,反而容易放開心胸。 回顧這一路走來的成長經驗,毛學強很慶幸自己的父母在融入本地社會一事上以身作則,讓子女可以安心在此生根發展。「選擇太多,有時不一定是好事。一旦心存退路,反而不易把路走通。」他在比較今昔環境的差異、移民家庭在生活適應和社會融入上所面對的種種問題時,有感而發。 毛學強表示,時移勢變,目前的環境往往讓移民有更多的選擇,但也因此有些人下的決心並不夠,相對的也容易讓子女產生未來究竟要「根著何處」的疑惑,這對成長中的靑少年並非好事。他認爲,移民子女正如同一株被連根拔起的幼苗,在移植到另一種土壤時,需要更多、更細心的呵護,日後能否在異鄕植根茁壯,就看父母如何擔負起園丁的責任了。 本報記者:何元 【圖片】: 毛學強十一歲隨父母移民加拿大前攝於台北。 (毛學強提供) 【圖片】:在講求邏輯嚴謹的西方法律專業洗禮下,毛學強身上依然保有很「中國」的儒雅氣質。 (何元/攝) English translation: The Stories of Young Immigrants 《Article Eight of a Series of Reports》 Having Too Many Choices: It May Make It Hard to be Successful Mao Xueqiang Suggested that New Immigrants Should Make Up Their Minds to “Take Root” in Canada Talking with the lawyer Mao Xueqiang in Chinese would be a challenge even for someone who has received complete Chinese education. He is sophisticated and accurate in using Chinese language at the level of a lawyer as well despite the fact that he immigrated to Canada with his parents after finishing grade five in Taiwan. Mao Xueqiang, currently a national partner of Smith Lyons Torrance Stevenson & Mayer, a law firm in Canada, said that his primary school in Taiwan had a teaching style where the children practiced uninterrupted activities such as writing, performing speeches, and other contributions, which lay a good foundation for his Chinese. But more importantly, even after immigration, he still deliberately maintains and enhances his Chinese while strengthening his English skills. At that time, there were not many Chinese in Vancouver, and there were only a handful of Chinese books and magazines. Therefore, the Mao family brought a large number of Chinese books to Canada. Mao Xueqiang said that he often stood in front of the many bookcases at home and looked for books to read. At that time, the overseas edition of the Central Daily News was a must-read. What was most remarkable was that he had been keeping up a regular correspondence with his primary school classmates and teachers. Mao Xueqiang said that the correspondence not only kept him up to date in language rhetoric skills but also allowed him to keep up with his friends’ “thinking” in Taiwan. However, recalling the embarrassment of not understanding English when he first arrived here, Mao Xueqiang, who always has a high expectation in his language expression, still feels that it was a "very depressing" experience. Mao Xueqiang said that when he first arrived, he could not understand the language and was quiet in class for a long while. Especially in English writing, he tried for a long time but had constant setbacks. Finally, he realized that Chinese and English are not only different in form but also in how they work. From then on, his English began to improve greatly. Around Grade 11 or 12, he was finally able to use English freely. When he was a first year student in university, he deliberately chose a course that combined the essence of language, philosophy, and political science. After many intensive debates with his teachers and friends, he finally laid a solid foundation [for his English expression]. Mao Xueqiang said that he is introverted and not good at making friends. However, he is good at painting. This talent was affirmed by his teachers and classmates and helped him rebuild his self-confidence and make many good friends. His experience was that it took a long time to get closer to other students because of their different experiences during their childhoods, but real friends accept each other’s differences. Therefore, he also suggested that when making friends here, it may be better to first recognize the difference between yourself and others. Let it happen naturally, and it will be easy to be open-minded. Looking back on his childhood, Mao Xueqiang is very grateful that his parents set an example in integrating into local society so that their children could feel at ease when developing here. “Sometimes, too many choices are not necessarily a good thing. Once you have alternative choices you can easily turn back from the one you already made.” He said so when comparing the differences between the past and the present, and the problems faced by immigrant families in adapting to life in a foreign country and social integration. Mao Xueqiang said that the world is changing, and the current environment often gives immigrants more choices. However, some people are not very decisive. It is easy for children to have doubts about where to put down roots in the future. This is not a good thing for the growing of young people. He believes that immigrant children, like uprooted seedlings, need more care when they are being transplanted to new soil. Whether they can grow roots in a foreign land in the future depends on how well their parents take on the responsibilities of gardeners. By He Yuan, journalist of World Journal Vancouver [Photo]: Mao Xueqiang immigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of eleven, seen here in Taipei. (Provided by Mao Xueqiang) [Photo]: Under the impact of the Western law profession, which is logically rigorous, Mao Xueqiang still retains a very "Chinese" refined temperament. (He Yuan / Photography)