Hong Kong ? a long way from Murphy, but not so different. Boggess Kindergartener Megan Chong growing up in Murphy, TX
Megan Yik-Man Chong, the 6 year old daughter of Veda and George Chong and the older sister of 1-1/2 year old Matthew, was born in the United States after her parents moved from Hong Kong seven years ago. Megan is a bright and active student in Ms. Patterson's kindergarten class at Boggess Elementary.
Geographically, Hong Kong is located on the southeastern coast of China, facing the South China Sea in the south, and bordering the Guangdong Province in the north. It has one of the world's most liberal economies and is a major international centre of finance and trade. While Megan didn't grow up in Hong Kong her parents did, and much of their decision to move to the U.S. was based on giving Megan cleaner air to breathe in a less populated city. Murphy is now "home." The Chongs speak Cantonese and attend a church where services are offered in Mandarin?both languages are spoken in China. Veda and George speak English but say the "language barrier" is the most difficult thing they have had to adjust to since moving to the U.S. and Murphy. While Megan speaks Cantonese at home she is learning English at school.
Veda prepares traditional Chinese meals in the home and the Chongs find it easy to shop for typical foods and ingredients in Dallas, especially at the Hong Kong Super Market. They find the grocery stores in the U.S. much cleaner and offering a greater variety of items than those in Hong Kong.
Veda enjoys being able to stay at home to raise her children. George said that because the cost of living is so high in Hong Kong that in 90% of the households, both husband and wife work outside the home.
George particularly appreciates the schools in the U.S. not being as rigid as those in Hong Kong. Basically children are expected to work very hard memorizing much of what is presented instead of learning the "why" and "how" of the lessons. Veda and George were living in Hong Kong during the transition in 1997 from a Crown Colony of the UK to a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. They agree that nothing drastically changed governmentally. For example, Hong Kong retained its own legal system, currency, customs policy, and immigration laws. While the traffic in mainland China drives on the right, Hong Kong still maintains its own road rules, with traffic continuing to drive on the left. Only the defence and the diplomatic relations of Hong Kong are the responsibilities of the Central People's Government in Beijing. Megan Chong has a bright future ahead of her?her parents are making certain of that. She loves to read and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She spends much of her play time listening to children's music and worship songs. And she can't get enough French Fries and pizza--two international favorites that can bridge any language or ethnic barrier!