Thank You America – Xiaoyong Olsen

More than 40 years ago one morning in a small village in Northwest China, as usual a little girl went to her neighbour’s house to chat with her 60 years old friend. She told her friend that one day when she grew up she would take her to America, Great Britain… This scene had been recalled several times after the little grew up. That little girl was me, many years later I thought hard to try to figure out what gave me the clue that the western world like America was a nicer place. It was a time with no T.V. around. Radio was the only media for the people to know anything about the world outside. But what was broadcasting on the radio at that time was Chinese people mostly about the great Chinese communist party and their great leaders. All movies at that time would have been filtered to avoid the bad contents of western countries to negatively affect Chinese people. It must be from the few western movies I watched at that time telling me something different.

 

The Chinese leaders in early 1980’s decided to open the country’s door to foreign investments. After that Chinese people began to see more and learn more about the world outside of China. Starting from my elementary school years, I could hear people talking about somebody they knew successfully going to America to continue their education, but that was not something that normal Chinese like me could reach. I went to Shanghai for college, and after that I started working there. China’s friendly policy toward foreign investments and it’s cheap labor did attract lots foreign investments from Asia, Europe and North America. Those western investments provided lots of good career opportunities for young Chinese at that time. American companies were on the top of the list that young Chinese want to work for. Working in an American company was something a young Chinese could be proud of at that time, it could represent his/her high professional skills. I worked as a contract for Intel Shanghai for about two years. I could feel the love those employees in Intel Shanghai show to the company and to the American culture. Once before an American supervisor moved back to the U.S, the people in that department start being afraid that the Chinese management style would take over.” I started thinking, “There must be something really good these Americans bring, but besides the competitive salary, what makes American culture so attractive? How is it?”.

 

After many years hard working, I bought my own condo in Shanghai. I was almost 30 years old. It was good to see that how fast the city I was living was growing and changing. The future for young Chinese was not dim and gray any more, bright future was so close to us if we work hard and if we are smart enough. One day my friend and I talked about noticing people around us moving to U.S. I said, “ I may want to do that 10 years ago, but now there are enough opportunities for us to go up and get better in our home country. It is not worth to go to another country experience discrimination again; I still remember when I was in college in early 1990’s, one day I spoke Mandarin in a bus then everybody in the bus turned to look at me. That made me think I did something so bad, actually it was just because they found someone who didn’t their dialect, they looked down on me. I don’t want to experience such discrimination again.”

 

Years later, I met my future husband. I moved to U.S. and get married. After our first child was born, I started reading to her like the book we got from Swedish hospital taught, “Never too early to read and never too late to read”. We got lots of children books from yard sale, libraries. I was afraid of driving at that time and so we stuck in the house reading hours and hours each day .We had read hundreds of books together before my daughter started going to kindergarten. There are always so many children books here, for all different age groups, fairy tales old or new, rhymes, histories, science and about almost everything you can think of ; you will always find one there fits your need. I teased about my reading experience these years,” that I have made up all the reading I missed when I was little”. Thank you America for the rich sources for the people who wants to learn. In the past when talking about my failed college education, I teased that because I didn’t have a solid early childhood education; I had only totally two books before I started going to school at age seven, and that was how much reading I had at that time. For lots of reasons, there was no resources for us in China at that time. The Chinese government used to have a very strict control over media to stop its own people from thinking differently with its own thinking. The control is still there today but it’s much more loose now. It’s a different picture here in U.S., there are open sources in the libraries easily reach to the public, in the radio or from T.V. You will always be able to hear two parties that hold totally different opinions discussing or arguing, instead of only opinion from one side is allowed on the media.

 

I started driving after my daughter turned four. I started taking her to learn swimming, taking gym class… That’s the real start for me to connect with the real America world. Before that my exposure to this world was limited to our small church, and our family mostly. Surprisingly I meet so many friendly American people, we have so many good conversations; they don’t mind my broken English; they don’t try to show their super over someone who is from another country and who can’t speak English well.  In the past in China I met so many people who try to take any opportunities to push you down to bolster themselves. There are so many social classes in China. It seems that the people at the bottom will hardly get any respect, even if  their failure is caused by the something else instead their own fault. I feel so sad about that situation. Most Chinese people work hard to try to get to the higher level of that society to gain respect and more fairness. People there can be discriminated by what type of work they do, how much money they made, which region are they from. It’s different from what I have seen here and hard working people are rewarded despite what jobs they do; my old neighbor is a plumber, he and his nurse wife happily support a family of six.   Thank you America for being friendly, open, respectfulness, and fairness.

There are so much to express my thankfulness to this great country. I remember after my manager knew that I was going to U.S. he told me told me,” America is a good country, it’s better than here”. At that time I may not totally understand what did he mean and I didn’t know what in U.S could attract people from all over the world to come. After ten years having been living here, the friendly people, the fairness and the opportunities for all hard working people taught me what made this country so great. I know a lady and she is from Jordan, she is in her process to be trained to a dentist, told me, “ the political system here is the best in the world, there is corruption here too, but comparably it’s much better than other countries.” I totally agree with her. I have a friend from Poland, days ago she told me that only in this country you would see people from all over the world can live peacefully joyfully together. I agree. I know there’s still so much for me to know about this great country. God bless America!

 

More than 40 years ago one morning in a small village in Northwest China, as usual a little girl went to her neighbour’s house to chat with her 60 years old friend. She told her friend that one day when she grew up she would take her to America, Great Britain… This scene had been recalled several times after the little grew up. That little girl was me, many years later I thought hard to try to figure out what gave me the clue that the western world like America was a nicer place. It was a time with no T.V. around. Radio was the only media for the people to know anything about the world outside. But what was broadcasting on the radio at that time was Chinese people mostly about the great Chinese communist party and their great leaders. All movies at that time would have been filtered to avoid the bad contents of western countries to negatively affect Chinese people. It must be from the few western movies I watched at that time telling me something different. The Chinese leaders in early 1980’s decided to open the country’s door to foreign investments. After that Chinese people began to see more and learn more about the world outside of China. Starting from my elementary school years, I could hear people talking about somebody they knew successfully going to America to continue their education, but that was not something that normal Chinese like me could reach. I went to Shanghai for college, and after that I started working there. China’s friendly policy toward foreign investments and it’s cheap labor did attract lots foreign investments from Asia, Europe and North America. Those western investments provided lots of good career opportunities for young Chinese at that time. American companies were on the top of the list that young Chinese want to work for. Working in an American company was something a young Chinese could be proud of at that time, it could represent his/her high professional skills. I worked as a contract for Intel Shanghai for about two years. I could feel the love those employees in Intel Shanghai show to the company and to the American culture. Once before an American supervisor moved back to the U.S, the people in that department start being afraid that the Chinese management style would take over.” I started thinking, “There must be something really good these Americans bring, but besides the competitive salary, what makes American culture so attractive? How is it?”. After many years hard working, I bought my own condo in Shanghai. I was almost 30 years old. It was good to see that how fast the city I was living was growing and changing. The future for young Chinese was not dim and gray any more, bright future was so close to us if we work hard and if we are smart enough. One day my friend and I talked about noticing people around us moving to U.S. I said, “ I may want to do that 10 years ago, but now there are enough opportunities for us to go up and get better in our home country. It is not worth to go to another country experience discrimination again; I still remember when I was in college in early 1990’s, one day I spoke Mandarin in a bus then everybody in the bus turned to look at me. That made me think I did something so bad, actually it was just because they found someone who didn’t their dialect, they looked down on me. I don’t want to experience such discrimination again.” Years later, I met my future husband. I moved to U.S. and get married. After our first child was born, I started reading to her like the book we got from Swedish hospital taught, “Never too early to read and never too late to read”. We got lots of children books from yard sale, libraries. I was afraid of driving at that time and so we stuck in the house reading hours and hours each day .We had read hundreds of books together before my daughter started going to kindergarten. There are always so many children books here, for all different age groups, fairy tales old or new, rhymes, histories, science and about almost everything you can think of ; you will always find one there fits your need. I teased about my reading experience these years,” that I have made up all the reading I missed when I was little”. Thank you America for the rich sources for the people who wants to learn. In the past when talking about my failed college education, I teased that because I didn’t have a solid early childhood education; I had only totally two books before I started going to school at age seven, and that was how much reading I had at that time. For lots of reasons, there was no resources for us in China at that time. The Chinese government used to have a very strict control over media to stop its own people from thinking differently with its own thinking. The control is still there today but it’s much more loose now. It’s a different picture here in U.S., there are open sources in the libraries easily reach to the public, in the radio or from T.V. You will always be able to hear two parties that hold totally different opinions discussing or arguing, instead of only opinion from one side is allowed on the media. I started driving after my daughter turned four. I started taking her to learn swimming, taking gym class… That’s the real start for me to connect with the real America world. Before that my exposure to this world was limited to our small church, and our family mostly. Surprisingly I meet so many friendly American people, we have so many good conversations; they don’t mind my broken English; they don’t try to show their super over someone who is from another country and who can’t speak English well. In the past in China I met so many people who try to take any opportunities to push you down to bolster themselves. There are so many social classes in China. It seems that the people at the bottom will hardly get any respect, even if their failure is caused by the something else instead their own fault. I feel so sad about that situation. Most Chinese people work hard to try to get to the higher level of that society to gain respect and more fairness. People there can be discriminated by what type of work they do, how much money they made, which region are they from. It’s different from what I have seen here and hard working people are rewarded despite what jobs they do; my old neighbor is a plumber, he and his nurse wife happily support a family of six. Thank you America for being friendly, open, respectfulness, and fairness. There are so much to express my thankfulness to this great country. I remember after my manager knew that I was going to U.S. he told me told me,” America is a good country, it’s better than here”. At that time I may not totally understand what did he mean and I didn’t know what in U.S could attract people from all over the world to come. After ten years having been living here, the friendly people, the fairness and the opportunities for all hard working people taught me what made this country so great. I know a lady and she is from Jordan, she is in her process to be trained to a dentist, told me, “ the political system here is the best in the world, there is corruption here too, but comparably it’s much better than other countries.” I totally agree with her. I have a friend from Poland, days ago she told me that only in this country you would see people from all over the world can live peacefully joyfully together. I agree. I know there’s still so much for me to know about this great country. God bless America!

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