When I was a child, I didn't have any idea of my hometown. I didn't know where it was or what it looked like. My grandpa told me that my hometown was in Nan Hai, Guangdong Province, since my ancestors were born there. However, I was also told by my father that Guangzhou was my hometown because he was born in Guangzhou and so was I. I have been wondering whom I should believe.
When I was 8 years old, as a member of the Guang Zhou Callan Glee Club, we traveled to five European countries on tour. At every performance, a ballad entitled "Morning Tea" always made an impression and excited the audiences. Cantonese people are fastidious about their food. For example, Cantonese Dim Sum stresses the combination of colour, fragrance and taste. Through this ballad, people got to know about a variety of local Guangzhou snack, such as Cha Shao Bao, Shao Mai, Shrimp Dumpling, etc. At the end of this ballad, we would give a comfortable belch, which made people smile and feel satisfied and relaxed. It seemed that they were drinking morning tea and tasting Dim Sum while they listen to the music. At that time, the press described us as angels who were spreading Guangzhou Culture. It was the first time that I realized I am a Cantonese.
When I was 10 years old, on behalf of Guangzhou teenagers, I went to Canada to take park in a summer camp, called the Children's International Summer Village, where 48 children from 12 countries lived together at a middle school for 1 month. There was a very fun activity in which children from each country would have their own national day when they would introduce their country. On Chinese Day, our team leader and we four Cantonese children racked our brains to cook one of Canton's snacks. Although none of us had any experience in doing it, the food we cooked was finished incredibly fast. We were surrounded with a trail of questions: "What is it?" "Is it magic?" "Could we have another taste?" We answered that it was Guangzhou-style noodles, one of the famous Cantonese snack, which represented Guangzhou culture.
Last summer, one of the CISV members, a 15-years-old Swedish girl came to China to visit my family and lived with us for half a month. I took her to visit my former kindergarten, my school, the Glee Club, the playground, the amusement park, and my relatives' and my friend's homes. We also went to Bai Yun Mountain with its amazing views, the Chen Clan Temple with its ancient sense of mystery, the Six-Banyan Temple with its long history, and the peaceful and lovely Dong Hu Park which can be seen from my bedroom window. The Guangzhou-style opera also made a deep impression on her. When she was leaving Guangzhou, she said to me with sincerity, "Emily, thanks for your hospitality. Guangzhou is a very beautiful city and I will never forget it. I can also feel that you love your hometown very much." At that moment, I was aware that Guangzhou is my hometown.
When I learned that I was coming here, I really wanted to talk about Guangzhou because I feel like I am Guangzhou's little mayor and that I should let everyone know about it and invite you all to visit.
I like the peaceful environment and the delicious food in Guangzhou. It is where I have lived for 12 years with my parents, my good friends, and my teachers who have supported me. I am a Cantonese who likes Guangzhou very much.
Now, I not only understand the meaning of hometown, but I also know for sure that Guangzhou is my hometown.
I love my hometown. I love Guangzhou.