My Testimony

Discussion in 'The Creative Corner' started by japmula, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Here's a short piece I'd like to share with everyone b/c most of my photography revolves around self-expression, which stems around my experiences expressed in these words:

    My Testimony
    by Yen Huynh

    When I was 8 in Mrs. Luongo’s 3rd grade class, a little strawberry blonde-haired boy pulled my pants down in front of the class for laughs. Was it because I was quiet and shy?

    When I was 10, I first grasped the concept of being different, but didn’t quite understand why other kids would call me names that I had never been taught at home or school. When and where did they learn racial slurs?

    When I was 12, I learned to expect racial comments fly towards me at any point and by anyone -- that my yellow skin and straight black hair had everything to do with me being called a chink. Other kids always asked if I knew what the terms “ching chong” meant. It became a song that they felt privileged to sing whenever they wanted. And when I chose not to respond to their ignorance, I automatically don’t understand or speak English.

    When I was 15, while working at Star Market in the Prudential Center, I was told by an elderly white man that I and all of my people should go back to where we came from and that he and his people didn’t need us taking over his country. The way his strikingly bright blue eyes stared into mine with so much contempt still haunts me today.


    When I was 18, freshman year in college, I never before was so aware of my dissimilarities. This was my first experience being in a small and closed environment that was predominantly white. The diversity scale was (and still is) so tiny that you could literally point me out in any classroom no matter the size.

    That year was also the first time I was allowed to explore my differences and share them with the community – the first time I shared my voice, the first time I heard my voice.

    Now I’m due to be 22 – 22 and still wondering, still learning, still angry, if not more. Angry, yes, but hate I do not have. The world already suffers too much from wrongful scorn, and adding to that would make me just like them – those who express disdain for what other reason than pure ignorance.

    I’ve had the unfortunate experience of going through many episodes of discrimination growing up. They made me feel ashamed of who I was. While other kids were wishing they were superheroes and princesses, I was wishing that I wasn’t Vietnamese.

    There was something very wrong with that, but now I’m older and wiser. My experiences have made me stronger. I’m no longer ashamed or afraid to speak up – no longer ashamed of being me.
     
  2. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    :hug:

    thank you for sharing that.
     
  3. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance in this world and it seems you have personally witnessed far too much of it.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
     
  4. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Igore the ignorance!

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yen, I think it's amazing for you to have posted this. It makes my face burn for you, that you had this bigotry and intolerance right in your face at such a young age. I guess you understand you never did anything to earn it, but I don't know that I could be so calm and mature about it. Kudos to you!

    Thanks for posting what were obviously very painful experiences. I hope it helps you to purge them. :)
     
  6. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    Oi, no place in the world is perfect - I recently joined a new gym and gym owner was a total bigot. He said to me that there are too many @#&$ foreigners in Auckland. I promptly reminded him that he was talking to a foreigner in Auckland(and loudly to make sure others could here). That promptly shut him up, but boy it made my blood boil
    :soapbox:
     
  7. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Shucks....thanks you guys for being so supportive!!! :sun:

    All of your responses really mean a lot to me...=) I can't wait to show you all the photos that relate to these words...=)

    Thanks for the hug vonn...how cute! I'm sorry to hear of your recent episode at the gym...=/


    "What the world needs now...is love, sweet love ~ It's the only thing...that there's just, too little of..."
    -Jackie DeShannon
     
  8. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    coolness 8) & we'd love to see the pics!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, glad you are a part of this forum :love:
     
  9. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you for sharing this with us, Japmula !
    A lot of what you have written above touched me.
    It saddened me and had me shaking my head ...remembering all the times I saw & heard kids at school being ostrasized because they were 'different' in some way.
    The only physical fights I ever really had at school were mainly because of sticking up for my friends ... whom of which were being taunted because of their race.
    Faced with someone standing up to them , the kids doing the teasing and name calling would , unfortunately , resort to physical violence towards me. ( Well try to anyway )...but thats ignorant bullies for ya... ;)


    This part of your story was so moving & eloquent.

    I'm glad you've taken the path of using your experiences to grow stronger ... in heart , mind and spirit.
    You seem like a gorgeous person so be proud of the person you are ! :sillysmi:
     
  10. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Lumi...=) I'm glad you pointed that quote out, because I still can't read that one line without getting a lil' choked up....*shakes head*
    There's just so much content attached to one line that speaks so much truth about me and I'm %100 sure that I'm not the only one and that alone saddens so much....*sigh*

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read! You have some really nice work posted. I've enjoyed reading every piece I've touched upon thus far.
     

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