Stories / Glo

Gloria (GLO)

“I need God’s love more than anything, and I don’t want to walk away from his presence.”

What is your occupation? 

I am a 2nd year student at Ryerson, majoring in Child and Youth Program. I also work part-time as a bubble tea barista at The Alley. However, due to this outbreak of  COVID-19, I stopped working there and instead I am currently working part-time as a babysitter a few times a week to keep my weekly income. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of  school and work? 

I am passionate about music and serving at the Christian community. I am currently part of the music ministry in The House of Worship Toronto. This excites me the most and I am really grateful for it. 

When did your family come to Toronto? 

My mom, dad and brother came to Toronto in 1995. At that time, my brother was only 3 years old. My family immigrated here with nothing and started from the ground up. 

How do you feel about yourself as a 2nd generation Hong Kong-Canadian woman?

I think it’s interesting because I get to learn about my culture and what Hong Kong is all about to me. In my own understanding, Hong Kong people are very hardworking, strong and resilient. I am proud to be Asian with  roots that tie back to Hong Kong. Besides that, the food there is amazing! Hong Kong itself is so beautiful. It’s just wonderful. 

What does being a Hong Konger (this identity) mean to you?

I think I am unsure of my Hong Konger identity. I would love to explore more about it and learn more about my culture. To me, I think Hong Konger means to be resilient, strong minded and hard working. I think these are the morals and values my parents have instilled in me because that’s who they are. 

In your opinion, what are the differences between Chinese and Westernized culture?

I think the values are very different. Western culture tells you to be independent and fight for yourself. It also teaches you to chase your dreams and passions. It encourages everyone to express themselves and their emotions. However, Chinese culture may not have the privilege to chase dreams. People barely express themselves as well. The mindset is about survival and getting through hardships. So, I think that’s the differences between both cultures. 

What difficulties do you experience being brought up in a Chinese household while growing up in a westernized culture? 

Oftentimes, problems are swept under the rug and never dealt with or discussed as a family. Family is everything for each Chinese household. However, there’s an irony that a child owes a parent everything because of how much the parents went through to get them here. Hence, sometimes it’s hard for me to express my emotions and feelings in my Chinese household.

What’s your biggest concern with your family right now? 

The biggest concern I am having is money. I know my family needs it but I can only provide a little to help while also enduring many personal financial struggles. Deeply, I love and care about my family. However, I often feel hurt. The tension between loving and hurting holds me back in life.. Nevertheless, I am trying my best to love and resolve my family problems. 

What’s your biggest hope and comfort in life while undergoing personal hardships?

I am thankful that God has always provided me with many kind and gracious friends. Also, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to go to school and work. Sometimes things are hard but regardless, I am thankful. My biggest hope is to live in the presence of God, where there will not be any brokenness. I hope that there’s a day when I don’t need to worry about finances and family problems and can just be in God’s peace embrace. 

Would you rather live in Toronto or explore Hong Kong now? 

I love Toronto because it’s where I grew up. It’s wonderful and safe. I feel privileged to live in this beautiful city that I can call home. Yet, I would love to explore Hong Kong. I love the mountains, oceans and people. It definitely has character. However, the political issues make things extremely scary at the moment. I would like to live in both one day. 

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