How to Build a Home

Tree, May 2019, by Cici Cheng.

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How to Build a Home

by Cici Cheng
Southern Cultures, Vol. 27, No. 2: Built/Unbuilt

“This is the home where we can imprint ourselves, our identities, our culture, our memories.”

When I was six years old, my family and I packed up our life in four suitcases and left Sanming, my hometown, located in the western Fujian province of China. I didn’t know where I was going, and my parents didn’t know what they were expecting. All we knew was that we were moving to North Carolina to reunite with my paternal grandparents, who already resided in Durham. In 2003, we said goodbye to the only life that we’d known in order to achieve a dream that we’d heard about but never seen.