My name is Tina Yong.
INTERVIEWED BY Cameron Douglass

"I have American citizenship, and working in American’s company, but I wasn’t born in here."

Hunan, China

San Jose, California



Hello, how are you? What is your name?

Hi, I’m good. My name is Tina Yong.

I’m Cameron Douglass. I will be interviewing you today.

Okay, sounds good.

When were you born?

I born in 1948, I’m already 68 years old.

What race, gender, and ethnicity do you identify as?

I am sure that myself is Asian women, but I am not strongly sure what is my ethnicity. I have American citizenship, and working in American’s company, but I wasn’t born in here. Anyway, no doubt, I love this nation because I spent over 40 years of my life in here.

Hmm… I understand it was difficult to answer. Well, where were you born?

I born in Hunan, the town in south of China.

What was it like there? Can you compare it to where you live now?

I remember there were beautiful town, but I didn’t like the weather. Hunan was always humid, and it would make you feel bad… especially during summer and winter. However, it was very clean and safe town, until China’s industrialization polluted the environment.

Is the place that you grew up in different in any way from how it is now.

Yeah, more diverse, and more people. Ans sure, more expensive for live.

What sort of people were you surrounded by in your hometown (race, culture, etc)

There were a lot of funny people, and sure, mostly asian. We had tea time together, and poker game party was open every night.

What country do you have citizenship in?

Oh, I’m American citizen right now.

Have you ever had citizenship in a different country?

I had Chinese citizenship before, but I lost it today.

Do you or have you ever had dual citizenship?


What was your k-12 experience like (how might it differ from what a child might experience today)?

I was still in China during those years. I remember all of my teacher were very strict, and there were a lot of students very seriously to learn. I think we were more serious in education than today’s children.

Did you enjoy school as a child? Why or Why not?

Yes and no. Sure, school was fun, I could find a lot of friends… but I was a child also. I didn’t love to spend too much time in classroom for study.

What did your parents do for work? Did both of your parents work while you were growing up (K-12)?

Yes, I remembered… they both worked for the taskwork that Chinese government gave us.

Did they enjoy these careers?

I am not sure, because the taskwork that the government gave us didn’t seems fun.

Did the jobs that they worked comfortably support the family?

Sure, no matter fun or not, it was the job could support our family.

Did you ever notice that your race, ethnicity, or gender affected your k-12 years? If so, how?

No, I told you I was in China. So all of my peer were same as I.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I did go to college in the United States. When I was around late 20 years old.

What were some of the reasons that you decided to go to college there?

I thought only thing could made you independent in this country is knowledge. So I decided to go to college, and use my degree to find a job for me. Also, I have baby daughter after I moved to here, so I need a job to rise them up.

What was your major? Minor?

I was in business.

Why did you choose this major? Are you happy with your decision?

I choose it because I was very good at calculation. Yeah, I think I did a right decision.

Have you been, or are you, married? If you are how did you meet your spouse?

I married my husband like 40 years ago. We met in China.

How old were you when you got married?

I was around late 20 years old.

Do you have any children? How many do you have?

I have one daughter.

Did both you and your spouse work when you first met?

No, we both a student.

Do both you and your spouse work now?

Yes, I working in tech company as a financial manager. And my husband is marketing manager, in different company.

Growing up, was religion ever important to your family?

I am Christian, but I didn’t practice it too seriously like other Christian people.

Would you consider the community that you grew up in to be religious at all?

Um… I don’t think there are any community that impacted me religious. I just started read the bible by myself.

Did you belong to any community organizations growing up (religious, recreational, etc)? If so, why did your family belong to these organizations?

I didn’t belong to organizations, because I didn’t feel it is necessary.

How did the Vietnam War affect your life as a person living in America at the time?

Actually, I came to the U.S. after that war. However, when I was in China, and the Vietnam War beginning, most of Chinese thought America is enemy.

Do you remember people talking about the Vietnam War at all?

People in China though the U.S. want to dominate Korea, and China for their next.

In general, were people in America in support or opposition to the war?

I am not sure about the war, because I didn’t actually involved in the war. But I think the war shouldn’t be an event that supported by people. We should think, how to avoid the war.

How did immigration (in general) affect your life?

Changed whole my point of view, and also my life. I have more opportunity to think about international society from many different views.

How did the civil rights events affect your life, such as the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by MLK in 1963?

Hm… I was not in the U.S. at that time, but “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin King was impacted me when I was college student in here. It told me what is meant to be freedom.

How did racial inequality affect your life between 1950-1980?

I don’t think I got any effect by racism idea. Maybe I was lucky.

Were you ever personally subjected to racial inequality?

I don’t think… oh, but I remember one of my boss was white did make an Asian joke to me. I wasn’t feel so bad, but a lot of asian workers felt bad about him.

Well, it looks like all of my questions for this interview are done.

Good, thank you for interviewing

No, no, thank you for your cooperation.