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10 Things I Learned From My Immigrant Mother

In no particular order.

My mother, the first child of a schoolteacher and a car inspector, was born in 1971 in Karamay, a small oil town in China's Xinjiang province. I was born 26 years later in Singapore, and moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota just in time to start kindergarten.

Not my asian mom and me

1. Your parents can never meet or acknowledge your partner's parents until marriage is on the table.

Couple with their children

2. ALL plastic bags are ALWAYS reusable.

plastic grocery bag

3. So are gift bags, tofu cartons, and cooking oil.

recycling sign

4. Food is a privilege

Asian girl eating rice

5. Costco is a religion.

Costco store

6. Family is a support system, no matter what.

Asian family around table

7. In a relationship, whoever cares the more about an issue should have the most say.

couple fighting

8. There's always a risk of being kidnapped.

Chinese villagers

9. Take care of your teeth while you're young.

healthy teeth

10. Always prepare for the worst.

bulk toilet paper in the shape of a wave

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