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Jason's story: Embracing the hyphen in Korean-Canadian

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Published on May 20, 2015

Jason’s story is one of many. Listen, learn and share at www.passagescanada.ca

Passages Canada is a national storytelling initiative of Historica Canada that nurtures cross-cultural dialogue in Canadian communities. Our volunteer speakers share their personal experiences of identity, culture and immigration with groups of all ages. Passages Canada is generously funded by TD Bank Group and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My mom and dad immigrated to Toronto when I was a just 3 months old. They dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs. In 1978 they opened one of the first businesses in Toronto’s Koreatown.

As a teenager, I wanted nothing to do with the family business. I didn't speak Korean; I wasn’t interested in my parents’ Korean culture. I just wanted to be like the other Canadian kids. My mom finally kicked me out of the house.

Five years ago, my dad got sick. I decided it was time to embrace my roots. I started managing the restaurant. I even learned to speak Korean.

I am a Korean-Canadian, proud of what my family has built.”

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