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Family and Natural Resource Paper

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ESPM 50AC

Professor Worthy

October 20, 2016

Family and Natural Resource Paper

Coming from a family who worked long and strenuous hours only to barely survive has shown me the value in perseverance as well as the difficulties involving the distribution of resources. My family originally came from Hong Kong, an area filled with political turmoil and lack of opportunity. In particular, my parents were raised in an area that underwent various changes in sovereignty which greatly impacted their personal growth and economic standings. They grew up without much academic support but within their household was an abundance of culture and tradition. Despite the continual development of their culture, the changes towards low wage industrial productions and the absence of resources meant they could not subsist any longer. This ultimately led to their immigration to the United States in hopes for better opportunities and to develop a new relationship with natural resources.

        In Hong Kong, my parents had experienced a life without luxury, in fact, it was the complete opposite. With the tremendous amount of people, there was only so much land for each person. Along with the lack of private property, the common property was constantly being degraded with pollution and lack of fulfillment of obligations by the people living in Hong Kong. For my parents, they often got sick from the poor cleanliness of their environment as well as the constant infestation of insects in their own home. Despite the unsanitary conditions my parents faced everyday, they barely managed to get through high school only to learn bits and pieces of the English language. With their lack of education, they struggled to find jobs and compete with the millions of other people looking for work. Eventually, my parents found work in the agricultural fields but the amount of labor they had to do did not equate to their pay. The only reason my family was able to keep moving forward was largely due to my grandparents. After their long hours of work, they returned home to the loud joyous Chinese music and the flavorful cooking of duck and chicken. This lifestyle went on for years until a sudden change of events occurred. My father had lost his job due to industrialization and my mother informed her family that she was having a child.  Later that night, they decided that the conditions in China was not a suitable place to have a child. Taking a leap of faith, my parents immigrated to Oakland in pursuit of better and more abundant resources for themselves.

         My parents had left their direct connection with natural resources by working in the fields for different resources like job opportunities, a cleaner environment, and private property. Upon their arrival, they vowed to continue their cultural beliefs while doing their best to create a happy and sustainable life. For years my parents found work wherever they could, but was never able to find a job that could last. After eight years of living in Oakland, my parents had finally saved enough money from all of their jobs to open their own restaurant. They opened up a Chinese restaurant and began to generate a more stable income for themselves. Although their lifestyle in America wasn’t directly related to natural resources anymore, it was still a major factor towards their income. In Hong Kong, my parents had a first hand experience in cultivating the natural resources of the land, but moving to America meant growing their own food would not be as practical. They were forced to become reliant upon the market to purchase ingredients that had been farmed from other countries. Most of the ingredients they cooked largely depended on the price that they were sold for. For example, when broccoli went up in price and became too expensive, they resorted to cabbage as a substitute to ensure that they can still make a profit. It is clear that natural resources have always affected my parents regardless of where they are.

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