“I want to show that I’m both a Chinese and a Canadian person, and I’m proud to be a perfect balance of both.”
Maggie Xiong, a recent graduate of Burnett secondary, wanted to push back against the onslaught of criticism regarding Chinese customs that COVID-19 seemed to unleash.
The result is her self-published book about growing up in Canada, while also respecting her family’s heritage.
“I want people to understand how important and unique their own culture and different backgrounds are,” said Xiong, adding that many people can easily “forget where their family grew up and the traditions and customs that come along with it.”
Her book, Trekking the Pacific: The Cornerstone of Two Cultures, examines Chinese and Canadian culture using personal stories, old photographs, journal entries and reflective pieces Xiong wrote throughout her childhood as a Canadian-born Chinese.
Through the lens of her two cultures, the book touches on a variety of topics, including the environment, education, food and entertainment.
Xiong told the Richmond News the book also grew out of a feeling of “helplessness” during the COVID crises when she could do nothing to help family that live in her parent’s home village in the Hubei province of China.
“It’s important for me to hold on to my Chinese heritage, even more than ever, because I think it’s a really important part of me that can be lost so easily living here in North America.”
Xiong's book can be found on Amazon here.