Bubzbeauty visits the island of her ancestors
I learned about a Youtube star named Bubzbeauty accidentally, and a video on her channel started to autoplay. I kept watching because something about the boats looked really familiar. Turns out they were heading out from Hong Kong to an island called Lai Chi Wo. I kept watching, and before I knew it I had already gone through the entire six-minute video.
The video kept my eyes glued to the screen because I have had a similar experience to this. I may go back to Hong Kong fairly frequently, but every time I go back a lot changes. I have had the opportunity to see the old apartments that my parents grew up, and I will never forget it.
Standing in the old, broken down apartment buildings made me feel uneasy at first, but soon I started to imagine how life must have been like for my parents and relatives. For a moment it feels like I have stepped into a time machine and given an opportunity to see exactly what my parents have told me about their childhood. This is the hallway where they would play soccer after school. That was the tiny apartment that fit a family of eight. These might even have been their neighbors. In just a few minutes, I learned more about my parents than most children of immigrants will ever get a chance to.
As we left the buildings we returned to modern Hong Kong. There was a shopping mall across the street going through renovations. There were almost as many cars as there were people walking in the crowded streets. A huge city like Hong Kong is going through constant changes, and I couldn’t help but to connect the impermanence to what was once my parents’ home. I might be one of the last few people to experience what I just did. There might be hundreds of people in the US whose families originated here, yet they will never see it.
This video captures the curiosity and emotions very well, from a perspective that I can relate to very well, and I really wanted to share it with you.