LIVES: WALES, UK
BORN: HONG KONG, 1955
MOTHER TONGUE: CANTONESE
GRANDCHILDREN: HENRY, TRISTAN, CARYS, DANIEL
THEY CALL HER: POR POR
My parents came here first to England then me and my grandmother came last. Hong Kong belonged to the UK before so my parents wanted a new adventure and could come here without worrying too much about VISAs and all the things we had to think about now.
When I met my husband we were the only people from Hong Kong in our town in the UK. My husband loves to cook for me. He’s been cooking for me my entire life. I have been learning from my husband more than anything. I fell in love with him and then ended up stuck with him because we had the kids. I love the children so much that I wouldn’t continue fighting and rowing with him because it’s not right for the kids. We were married then had our first child after nine months.
I can’t sit at home. It’s so important to travel and see the world. One of my favourite things to do is go on cruises but even when I’m at home I find it important to go out walking for an hour. Or I’ll go swimming. It’s so important to go out and be active, especially once the children leave home and it is just you and your husband at home.
I love home cooking. It’s so much healthier and tastier. This dish was something my grandmother once made from the village I am from. It was a special dish for when we had parties like at a wedding or a 60th birthday or Chinese New Year. Only then could we really sacrifice one of our pigs for the pork.
I like keeping my heritage alive here in the UK and eating the food I had when I was a little girl, it takes me back to Hong Kong. I don’t like some things though - like the snake they cook. Oh, I so don’t like the snake over there. I’ve almost become naturalised here in England. I feel like now, I’m very British.
I’m a country girl, really. I had a cow in my village back in Hong Kong and we would grow everything at home. It was so far away to get to a shop, we’d have to take a boat for 40 minutes there and 40 minutes back. It made so much more sense to grow it ourselves. Then we would collect shellfish by the sea near my home.
I came at 15 years old and didn’t speak a word of English. I didn’t understand anything at school. I wasn’t at a private school or anything. It was just a normal state school and I felt so far behind and found it very, very hard. In a couple of months I hadn’t learned anything so I was enrolled into a language school with lots of other migrant children. I went there with loads of other Chinese as well as Indians. After three years there, I just got going at work. I think I actually learned most of my English working at the Chinese take-away, speaking with customers. I’m terrible at spelling and writing in English.
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