一九七七年，宣紹淦剛到溫哥華，住在溫市六十四街的外婆家中。十一歲正是好動的年紀，有天與表哥嬉戲之間挨了一拳後自覺委屈，便哭著跑出去，邊走邊哭，沒想到居然迷了路。一位白人老先生好心上前來探問，宣紹淦紅著雙限，以腦子裡僅有的幾個英文單字好不容易才拼出一 句：「I can’t find home. 」
當年華人同學少，講國語的同學更是鳳毛麟角，因此他在一路求學、成長過程中所結交的朋友多是白人及其他的族裔，尤其是在 Vancouver College 八年級到十二年級之間，在學校足球隊中所結交的一班朋友，迄今仍是默契十足，而擔任球隊副隊長的經歷，也讓他從中學習到如何領導統御。
【圖片】： 一九八四年Vancouver College的畢業典禮上，宣紹淦與姊姊和外婆。（宣紹淦提供）
English translation: The Stories of Young Immigrants
《Article 11 of a series of reports》(Part One)
Xuan Shaogan: Learning Leadership through Soccer Team Experience
In 1977, Xuan Shaogan had just arrived in Vancouver BC and lived in his grandma’s home on 64th street in Vancouver. Eleven years is an energetic age. One day, when he was playing with his cousin, he got punched. He felt he was being treated unfairly and ran all the way home, crying the whole time. Only he couldn’t find it, and suddenly realized that he was lost. A kind old Caucasian man asked him what was wrong. Through his tears, he pieced together his limited vocabulary and said, “I can’t find home.”
After Xuan Shaogan finished third grade in Taiwan, he and his family lived in Indonesia for two years, then moved to Canada in 1977. He later became the manager of business loans for the Chinatown branch of Scotiabank.
Xuan Shaogan said that even though he had an English tutor when he was younger, because he never had the chance to speak it, it was poor when he had just immigrated to Canada.
Fortunately, his classmates after fifth grade in Vancouver were nice and willing to help correct his English pronunciation and grammar. He was also an extrovert, meaning he wasn’t afraid to converse with others. This helped him make friends and accelerated his English learning. Xuan Shaogan didn’t have very many Chinese classmates, and ones that spoke Mandarin were even more uncommon. So most of his friends were Caucasian or other ethnicities. In grades eight to twelve at Vancouver College he talked frequently with his friends on the school soccer team and his vice captain, from whom he learned leadership and management.
In Xuan Shaogan’s developmental years in Vancouver, it was his grandmother, great aunt, aunt, uncle and other maternal relatives who took care of him. He would meet many relatives who would later immigrate to Canada and they would tell him their thoughts of the local people. Most of his friends were Caucasian or other ethnicities and would tell him their thoughts on the immigrants. As a result, he discovered that many of the misconceptions between ethnicities is caused by people misunderstanding the traditions and customs of others.
For example, Chinese people believe that one must work diligently and save money. They also believe that working overtime is perfectly normal, while most local workers leave once their hours are up. Locals believe that while jobs are important, their families and personal wellbeing are more important. (to be continued)
By He Yuan, journalist of the World Journal Vancouver
【Photo】： Xuan Shaogan with his sister and grandmother at his graduation ceremony at Vancouver College in 1984.（Provided by Xuan Shaogan）