2 March 2002 | Vol. 2, No. 1

We are taught to take care of each other,

We are taught to take care of each other, that families are harsh places where people will tell you that you're fat or old looking, but also where those same folks will stand by you. In Hawaii, friends of the family are referred to as aunties and uncles, so that you become related to everyone on the island. I insist on using chopsticks because my fully 100% Chinese cousins are automatically given them, and I have a chip on my shoulder.

When I do visit Popo, the first thing she says as I am hugging her is "you hungry, wanna eat?" This woman who still struggles to pronounce my baby brother's name and who I am not allowed to tell that I am gay, she whispers her prayers to Buddha every morning as she makes breakfast. She takes us to Kung Kung's grave and we light his favorite cigars and plant them, lit side up, beside him, as she clasps our hands together and shows us how to make the appropriate reverential gestures. She cries at my sister's wedding because she sees Kung Kung, who is Christian, buzzing around her as a fly in the chapel.

About the author:

Dante Woo (which is not his real name) is a 25 year-old racially mixed guy that lives in New York City and has been writing about it, himself, culture, politics, and the interaction of all four for a few years. During the day he works as a designer and editor at a ubiquitous Internet media and technology firm. He can be reached online at dantewoo.com.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Dante Woo at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 2, No. 1, where "We are taught to take care of each other," ran on March 2, 2002. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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