myanmar-350I am a second-generation Asian-American, first-generation college student. My mother was born in Taiwan, and my father was born in Myanmar. Both immigrated to America in the 1980’s and settled in New Jersey. I am currently living in New York City as a young professional. Proud of my heritage and of being American, I am a globetrotter who has visited China, Taiwan, Myanmar and Japan—and fascinated by Asia and Asian-American culture. While my family does not have outlined traditions, food is an essential ritual that is as informal as packaged ramen noodles or as homemade as mother’s curry dishes or as formal as a 7-course wedding dinner. No matter the occasion, food is used as a form of communication. Rather than speaking, oftentimes the act of cooking or simply eating together is an acknowledgement of love, affection and attention. The eggs symbolic of trust and security, the fish representing abundance and the sporadic spaghetti with meat sauce as acceptance. No matter how old I get or wherever with whomever I choose to fly, I know I can always return to my childhood home and experience this comfortable love, the unconditional love of family.

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