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Cultural CuriosityThirteen Stories about the Search for Chinese Roots$
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Josephine Khu

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223400

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223400.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Through a Window

Through a Window

(p.20) Through a Window
Cultural Curiosity

Graham Chan

University of California Press

“Never the typical Chinese family” is Graham Chan's description of his family. Graham's mother was born in Britain and could not speak nor understand Cantonese. Graham's father owns a restaurant, can speak Cantonese and English, but never wanted Graham or his mother to work in their family business. Graham and his siblings do not speak nor understand Cantonese. He recounts the story of his parents' childhood and how their family got to Britain, and tells of his efforts to learn how to speak Cantonese. He talks about his experiences when he went to Hong Kong for a work assignment and then notes of the crippling effects of not being able to speak Cantonese as well as the difficulties he had in combining the two cultures, British and Chinese.

Keywords:   Chinese family, Graham Chan, Britain, Cantonese, English, Hong Kong

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