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James Oeth From China to America

The transition from China to America can be really tough for some people, but Liyang has handled it wonderfully. His decision to move to America was not made by him, but since he has been here, he has whole-heartedly embraced it—learning the language and embracing the culture of the people here. His father made the decision for Liyang to travel to America for high school becausehe thought that Liyang would receive a better education here and would then be able to prosper as an adult. Liyand talks about the food here and says he likes it much better than the food that they have in China like the cheesesteaks at lunch. He also likes how much free time he has now that he is in America compared to how much time he had in China. He says, “I have much more time to study in America; I like that.� He also talks about how much time he has to practice basketball and how the sports in America are much more competitive. The one thing that is different from China is the language barrier that he faced when he came to America. Kids in America constantly told him that words meant different things than what they actually meant. Overcoming the teasing was difficult, but with the help of teachers and friends and he was able to overcome the language adversity. Liyang has missed his family and friends from China, which has made him travel back to China during all of the major breaks during the year. He travels back to China to reconcile with his family during the Christmas break and he was surprised to learn that he had forgotten a little bit of Chinesewhilst he was here in the United States. When he was here, he told us stories about the ways that Chinese people celebrate the


holidays and how he was so excited to share the American culture with his family in China. The Internet is much different in China and America. In China there are no websites like Facebook and Twitter becausethe Chinesegovernment has a very effective firewall that blocks off those kinds of social networking sites. Liyang enjoys the freedom of the Internet in America but does not like how he cannot be friends with his old friends from China on Facebook. All in all, Liyang has prospered in America and does not regret his decision to come. After surpassing the language barrier, Liyang has really enjoyed the freedom that America has offered him in regards to practicing sports and keeping up with his school work.

photo by Liyang Li

Lost In Translation  

A short story about Liyang Li's transition to American lifestyle.