Issue Five: Eating


When I first started going to school (kindergarten to Grade 2) me and my sister, along with these two other kids, were the only Asian kids in the entire school. Usually we'd go home for lunch because we lived close by but the days we'd have to eat lunch at school were rough. My sister didn't sit with me, and my friends for the most part didn't eat at school. Bringing my container of rice and ulam made me super uncomfortable because none of the other kids were eating a lunch like mine. I was the only kid who’d whip out a spoon and fork at lunch. Occasionally people would send that 'what is that' kinda look my way and sometimes people would be vocal about it. From then on unless my lunch was “normal” I didn’t want to eat at school. We ended up moving to one of the Catholic schools when I was in Grade 3 and it was completely different; Filipinos made up the majority of the population. But by that point I was too uncomfortable to eat my lunch in public even if the people I were eating with were Filipino. Heck I still am. I didn’t realize that my fear had its root that deep until I took the time to reflect on myself. It’s a slow progress but I’m working on it.