The British Library

Shalena’s Story

I am a second generation Chinese woman. I was born to immigrants from Hong Kong who came to Scotland in 1983 to give me and my siblings a better chance at life. They came to work for an uncle who owned a Chinese restaurant, it was how most other Chinese families came to the uk as it was the only trade in which they could make a living as they had very little English and even less qualifications.

After many years of saving, after me and my two other siblings were born, they saved enough money to start their own Chinese takeaway business. To this day, 20 years on, they still work 6 days a week at that business supporting our family. I have since grown up, and moved out of Scotland and it’s all owed to my parents hard work and dedication. Most importantly, it’s due to their sacrifice in moving half way across the world more than 40 years ago to find a better life for their future children.

Now I have a child of my own I finally can appreciate the amount of work and effort they put in in my behalf, and they also paved the way for my children too.

-Shalena, Scotland

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