My friends at Clever Girls Collective sent me the link to this video, a trailer for Asian American Voices: Shaping Silicon Valley, Strengthening Community, and Sharing Hope a film about the contributions of Asian Americans in Silicon Valley. You get to hear the very moving stories of various Asian-Americans and how their lives and work helped to shape the community we live in on a daily basis. The full film will be screened at the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival on March 20, 2010.
While this film centers on immigrants in the San Francisco Bay area, the stories could be told just about anywhere. For me, the stories reminded me of my mother, and her immigration story. I've written here before about my mom's determination to become a US citizen, but I haven't told all of her story. That's more than one blog post could possibly handle.
My mother's birthday is tomorrow, March 6, and I have been thinking a great deal about all that she has contributed in her 69 years. She was never able to complete high school because the Korean War interrupted her schooling and she had to go to work to help support her eleven brothers and sisters after their father died. She came to the US as a teenager, married to my dad, with a baby in tow. She had three children before age 25. She worked in a factory for 25 years, and would have kept on working had it not closed its doors and moved operations to Mexico.
Despite whatever hardships came her way, She kept her sense of humor and fun, ran a tight ship, and grounded her children in the belief that they could make of their lives whatever they could dream. My mother has been my inspiration, trusted adviser, and friend for my entire life.
My mother never held public office, has never been on television, owned a business, or traveled much of the world. She has raised three kids, sometimes as a tyrant, sometimes as a friend, but always with enormous courage and love. Her contribution to the world may not seem to be that big, but to me, it is everything.
My mother's story, and the stories of the people in the Asian American Voices film, are only a tiny representation of what Asian Americans have contributed to the US. I hope that everyone, no matter what their ethnicity, will take time to watch this and reflect on the impact of diverse cultures to the richness of our society.You can join the dialogue and become a fan of the Film on Facebook, and if you do, you could win tickets to the March 20 showing at the SF International Asian-American Film Festival!