Born in Lanzhou, China |
“There are very few places in the world where diversity is as cherished as it is in Toronto. I feel as if most Torontonians take for granted the social acceptance that comes with being a part of this city.”
Prior to arriving here, her family moved around quite a lot. At the age of nine her father took them from China to Australia to seek better opportunities. She says she lived for three years in a culturally homogeneous and racist community which left her with deep and painful memories that she is still dealing with. By moving to Toronto she found her “forever home” and here she no longer feels like an “outsider”. The city has helped reshape her worldview and open herself to many meaningful and loving connections.
“I found my best friend here, I found my husband here, and I’m finally starting to find myself here.”
Toronto as Home
Jenny’s parent’s house is located by the Don River Ravine Trail close to Bestview Park. While Jenny didn’t always appreciate how close she was to such a wonderful natural escape, in recent years she has discovered its beauty and the calmness that being there brings to her “preoccupied mind”.
“Being out in nature humbles me, and reminds me of the impermanence of whatever I’m feeling in that moment… it doesn’t really matter because all of it will come and go like changing of the seasons.”
What does matter to her is to live fully in the moment. Jenny knows this is not a uniquely Toronto thing, but it is part of what defines the beauty of the city to her.
Connection with the Past
Jenny holds a handmade stamp, made on a visit to China, of her Chinese name. She says that her ties to China have become rather symbolic. She didn’t have a strong ‘Chinese identity’ to cling to.
“The one thing I cannot change, nor will I ever forget, is my name – Liang Yan Chun.”
This is a constant reminder that no matter how much she thinks she is not (or is no longer) Chinese, she can’t deny the fact that her early childhood years in China, likely had a great impact on her personality and development. Through her name she is connected to the roots of that culture and her motherland.