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Fei QinCommunications major Fei Qin cites family, food, and language as connecting her to China.

Family traditions continue cultural connection for Chinese Canadian student

Crafting foods and eating authentic Chinese cuisine are the times when she feels closest to home, says Fei Qin, a student of communications and political science.

Qin alternates pronouns between she and they. Born in Beijing, they came to Canada with their parents at the age of one.

“A time where I’ve felt a strong connection with my ancestral home is when my mother and I make dumplings before the new year,” Qin says. “I love making dumplings from scratch and introducing new snacks to friends.”

She says that she sometimes feels like she is losing contact with her Chinese heritage, but she retains pride in her family history.

“They’ve been through so many adversities — coming to a foreign country and hoping to build a better place for themselves,” says Qin. “I’ve been speaking Mandarin less and less, especially now that I’ve moved out, but I like that I can still have conversations with my mom.”

They also love the beauty of China: in the rivers, in the mountains, in the temples, and in the places where history stood still.

“Sometimes I feel like the only thing that’s Chinese about me is my face, but my language, the food I grew up on, and my connection with my family are what reminds me of my roots,” Qin says.

This is the second in a series of articles featuring voices from members of the UWindsor community in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. The 2022 theme “Continuing a legacy of greatness” is a reminder for all Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all its forms.