One day, Hu was upset coming home from school because some kids made fun of his name and laughs at how it sounded similar to the English word “who”, and even began hating his given name.
Hu carried on to explain that some students made fun of how he speaks and even the way he eats his soup during lunch. Upon hearing this, his father said sorry that Hu was going through this discrimination at school and advised him to ask his teacher to help him out if they can.
One afternoon at school, Hu saw a poster showing that students may give their ideas to their teacher which will be put in a large jar. 4 ideas will be drawn every week by the “Student of The Week” to read to the whole class.
There were roughly 200 students at his school but only 30 of them left their advice in the jar, Hu dropped his in the jar before returning home.
The following Monday, student of the week, Charlie was assigned to draw an idea from the jar. He opened up the slip and called out “Hu” and read out loud, “I wish that everyone in the school is kind and respectful to each other, no matter what color we are, and what other languages we speak at home, or what country we were from. I hope that each student can be accepting and show kindness to each other.”
Hu was pleased that he had been chosen and that Charlie read his advice perfectly, but the lack of enthusiasm and applause made him sad.
Regardless of how his peers initially reacted, Hu proceeded to share more about his culture, language, and history with his classmates over the next few weeks.
At school’s show and tell, Hu introduced traditional items from the Chinese New Year and also suggested to his teacher that they perform an international cultural show and tell every Friday. Moreover, he volunteered to teach Chinese lessons to his peers.
More kids were encouraged to put their thoughts into the jar as a result of Hu’s perseverance and openness, and children were inspired to do better so they could be students of the week and read from the jar.
From being the weirdest student, Hu was becoming the most popular at school. At the same time, other non-native English speakers were treated with respect and kindness.
Hu exclaimed in joy to his classmates and teacher during the show and tell, “We all come from different backgrounds and cultures, with different family histories, and we all look different, and this is what makes us all special, this is what makes me, me. We should love ourselves for being different and unique.”
This heartwarming story was shared and inspired by Ashton Trans’s proud mother and entrepreneur, Phoe Chiang Tran with the AHN Community.