Oh the joys of growing up Chinese. Don't get me wrong, every Chinese household obviously experiences life differently. In fact, that's what made writing this a little difficult at first because a Chinese person whose family is from Hong Kong grows up pretty differently from one from Shanghai.
But as different as we are, there are definitely some common things that we can all relate to.
From readily available hot water to jars upon jars of Tiger Bomb, here are definitely some signs you grew up Chinese.
Note: This will probably relate to you most if you grew up in North America in the 90/00s.
1. There was always a storm of shoes at your front door any time you had a family house party.
2. You know full well the smell of Chinese herbal medicine...the taste too.
3. Your mom probably told you to offer your house guests slippers.
4. Hot water was easily accessible because you had a Zojirushi hot water dispenser.
5. Your mom was probably a bit of a tiger mom.
But only because she loves you!
6. After a long day of school, you probably also had Chinese school.
7. More after school activities included math practice books or logic books.
8. Your remote control was saran wrapped.
9. Any time your friends came over, they would tell you your house smells "Asian".
10. The classic blue butter cookie tins never actually had any butter cookies in them.
11. Neither did any container in the fridge actually contain what it said it did.
12. Your mom pretty much strictly cooked with chopsticks.
13. And now you don't understand how people can cook without chopsticks.
14. The microwave, toaster oven, and regular oven, were always used as extended storage.
15. You were given the longest lecture of your life if you left even one grain of rice in your bowl.
16. You had a kitchen drawer dedicated to plastic bags.
17. You definitely owned a random plastic stool step that are in some random colour.
18. Every time you came back from China, you had super cute socks and PJs printed with English words that made no sense.
19. The main household language was Chinglish.
20. You had an obsession with cute stationary in like grade 5.
21. You know what pork floss is, and you could probably live off of it.
22. At some point, you probably had a "glamour" photo shoot done in China.
23. When you helped wash the dishes, your mom probably told you to wash the take out containers too.
24. When washing your hands, you weren't surprised if you sometimes pumped out watered down soap.
25. You could never get enough white rabbit candy.
You ate the "plastic" part too.
26. Your pantry had jars of lychee jello that were your life.
27. You didn't know what real onion rings were until much later in life because you always thought onion rings were...
28. You most likely learned piano, violin, flute or some other Classical instrument.
29. Going out on the weekend as a kid meant Kumon and piano lessons.
30. Upon seeing relatives, they probably said something about your weight, totally not meaning to offend you...but it probably did a little bit.
31. Dinner with relatives was pretty much an interrogation round on your relationship status.
32. Your world was turned upside down, the day you found out your dish washer washed dishes and was not actually a drying rack.
33. You called all your parents' friends "auntie" and "uncle"...and you still do.
34. And for your actual aunties and uncles, you don't really know what to call them because of this complicated family naming system...
And if you're a Cantonese speaker:
35. Every time your family went on vacation, your mom would come back stacked with hotel soap and shampoo.
36. Your mom would tell you your gaining weight, tell you to go on a diet, and then stuff you with rice as soon as dinner time came.
37. According to your grandma, Tiger Bomb heals all.
38. You probably had a K Pop or J Pop phase in high school.
39. You didn't understand people who cooked rice on the stove...doesn't everyone have a rice cooker?
40. It didn't matter if you had a flu or hypothermia, you were GOING to school.
41. Going out with your friend usually elicited questions from your parents, followed by more questions.
"Oh you're going out? Who are you going with? Where are you going? What are their phone numbers? Can I have their phone numbers?"