Audio Text

A Song From A Child Immigrant

I’m a hobbyist songwriter and this is my first time writing about a more sensitive topic like racism against Asians in America, based on my own experience as an immigrant.

I was born in China, then I immigrated to Montreal (Canada) before turning 8. It was just my mom and I at first, but we made it through while both attending school and juggling credit cards to pay rent (well, she did). This song attempts at illustrating the hardships of a typical immigrant family from a kid’s perspective.

The second part of the song deals with racism that I’ve internalized over the years. My understanding is that Asians generally don’t have the worst of it, but racism towards Asians often comes in the form of countless small bruises. I can’t recall one major event that drastically affected my life, but it’s everyday stereotypes and insults that build up over time. I find myself aligning with many of the common stereotypes, and while I believe they’re inherently harmless, they often elicit hurtful reactions and uneducated extrapolations. Here, I try to convey that it’s ok to be Asian and fit the stereotype, and although I didn’t cover it, it’s also ok to be Asian and not fit the stereotype.

The last part talks about my inaction towards racism, allowing it to perpetuate further. I find that most Asians I know, including myself, will choose to avoid this problem rather than to face it head on. Sharing this song is probably the first action I ever took for the latter, hoping to raise some awareness.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone, and I’d be interested in learning different perspectives on this topic. If you liked this song, you can find more under the artist name ‘Waznop’ on most music platforms. 🙂

For reference:

Beyblade: a children’s toy

Three and a half: basically a one bedroom apartment (Montreal)

Welcome class: a class for non-French-speaking children to learn French (Quebec)

Dollarama: a shop that only sells items for a dollar (or at least used to)

Dratini: a Pokemon, in reference to the Pokemon TCG (Trading Card Game)

Kumon: an after school learning program