Youjia Jennifer Liu – Golden
Gleaming, shimmering, a bullion.
Belonging in the dungeon of central bank, in the vault, in the drawer, in the case with a single,
of black silk.
You are to be golden.
Strap on the armor of unyielding determination; bow before the altar of obedience, inherit the
values of 孝 (filial piety); shape your decisions to your family’s expectations, traditions, and
hopes. Chase the ephemeral flame of success; lock yourself in a relentless cycle of studying; and
be, be a nerd, an outcast, a pariah; dance on the tightrope of societal approval; possess
impeccable etiquette and superficial charm because you will need it; use it to navigate the web of
social connections; instead of being a slut you can be a suck-up; you can be a slut too but you
cannot be found out; mingle with the influential; maintain a facade of harmonious relationships;
guard the family’s reputation with your life.
This is how you get a perfect 7; this is how you win an Olympiad competition; this is how you
turn down the boy who likes you in school because you need to focus on your studies; this is
how you become the pride of your family; this is how you don’t bring shame to your family; this
is how you bow down to your elders when they give you anything, from food to money in 红包
(red packet) to jewellery passed down in the family; this is how you cry because you scored a
mark too low; this is how you cry without being found out; this is how you lock yourself in your
room; this is how you scream into your pillow because you can’t be disrespectful and scream at
your parents; this is how you lose you dreams of becoming a fashion designer; this is how you
become a lawyer; this is how you become a civil law lawyer because criminal law is dangerous,
risky and morally incorrect; this is how you become a doctor; this is how you send your
paychecks back to your family; this is how you find a good asian man to marry; this is how you
give up your life for the asian man; this is how you become impregnated by the asian man who
you don’t even like; this is how you have a child; this is how you force your child to go through
your pain; and this is how you bring pride to your family as the golden child.