Last night, A. and I went to a book reading given by a friend’s friend, who just published a book on American Chinatowns. Her presentation was really interesting, exploring the meaning of growing up Chinese in having a place like a Chinatown where her family “went to be Chinese.” And I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but it made me think of our baby girl, being born into three societies at once. I’ll explain: I’m Iranian, A’s Italian, we live in the U.S.
The way I’d figured it, the baby would grow up learning Italian (an aside: as my sister pointed out, Italian daycares are all the rage in NorCal! Who knew??) and English, with my parents speaking to her in Farsi. She’ll be a confused little tyke! Will she go wandering in Little Italies around the country trying to find her identity? Or hang out in Iranian stores on Wilshire?
What’s important is that she’ll never have to stand in line at the INS or its Italian equivalent in order to live in the U.S. or Europe. But if she turns out like me or her dad, she’ll probably marry someone from South America, Asia, or Africa, just so she won’t miss out on the whole immigrant experience!