Although finding her Chinese grandfather was Madison’s primary goal, coming to Luo Shui He connects her with relatives from around the world.
“What my mother experienced was, if you get too far away, you don’t know how to get back. My mother didn’t grow up as part of the Lowe family; my grandfather looked for her for the entire 15 years he was in Jamaica until he returned to China, but he couldn’t find her. I think it’s important that all our family members have the opportunity to come back every once in a while. Come back and know that you’re connected, you’re grounded, you’re not floating alone in the world. You’re not lost.”
She says China cannot ignore this growing multi-ethnic diaspora, which challenges the definition of being Chinese. “You cannot tell me that I am not Chinese and you cannot tell me that I’m not Hakka, because I am,” she says.
“So what do you do, China?” she asks. “You need to welcome us. Welcome us as we come home because we are also products of Chinese culture, civilisation, principles, and we have an allegiance to our Chinese ancestry, our heritage. That’s why I want people to come here, to Luo Shui He.”
- How do you define Chinese / Vietnamese / American etc.?
- Imagine this: Your grandparents were from Vietnam but migrated to Australia. You do not speak Vietnamese but English, and enjoy Australian pursuits. How do you define yourself?
- In a fast changing world where inter-cultural marriages are on the rise, is it necessary to investigate one’s roots? How closely should customs be followed?
- Do intercultural marriages have a positive or negative effect on the world?