Claudia Lee – A Dreamer with a law degree

Claudia Lee – A Dreamer with a law degree

Claudia is known by some people as “CBC”: Canadian Born Chinese.  Although born in Canada she was raised in Hong Kong. Like many other CBC’s and Third Culture people, she wonders: does that maker her Canadian, a Hong Kong’er or both. We asked Claudia to introduce herself and share a little about her thoughts on “home”, “belonging” and “identity”.

“Home” is the space that holds some of the people, memories and objects most important to me.

 

Claudia Lee

I graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a law degree last year. Having always been a dreamer, I decided not to become a lawyer but pursue my passion in art and design. The risk paid off as I have just began my first job at an advertising agency!

An aspiring photography

Outside of my career, I’m also an aspiring photographer! Photography, to me, is not only a creative outlet. It is also the only way for me to press pause a world that otherwise moves too quickly. As a person who loves to meet people with different backgrounds and personalities, I’m especially in love with photographing people. I find it very satisfying to be able to capture a person’s personality and quirks through my lenses.

Right now, I’m trying to juggle my career with a healthy lifestyle and my passion for photography – while also making time to be with people I love.

Like we all are, I’m still trying to figure things out. But I know for sure I won’t stop until I get there.

 

What does Home mean to you?

The Danish concept of comfort and coziness known is known as ‘hygge’

The Danish concept of comfort and coziness known is known as ‘hygge’ (which has no
direct English translation).  Just like this concept, “Home” isn’t something that can easily be described in words. To me, “Home” is a combination of the sights, smells and sounds of a place where you feel most at ease and secure.

“Home” is what I feel when I open the door to our chaotic apartment in Braemar Hill
Mansions. The overwhelming but satisfying feeling of simultaneously wanting to play with my dogs. Grab a snack from a cupboard. Change into a big T-shirt and just sit on the massage chair doing nothing. “Home” is a discordant orchestra made up of the sounds of my Mum’s smoothie blender, my dad’s snoring and my sisters’ Spotify playlists.

“Home” is made up of late nights studying for law exams. Early mornings waking up to catch a holiday flight. Daily family dinners and spontaneous baking sessions.

“Home” is the space that holds some of the people, memories and objects most important to me.

 

What does local mean to you?

“I thought that being a true local meant I needed to know how to use Cantonese slang,
or have strong awareness about local affairs and culture.”

Growing up at an International School in Hong Kong, I never considered myself ‘local’.
I thought that being a true local meant I needed to know how to use Cantonese slang, or have strong awareness about local affairs and culture.

More and more, I realise that being a ‘local’ doesn’t necessarily entail having strong cultural knowledge, being well-versed in local affairs or even knowing the local language. Being a local means having a sense of attachment to and appreciation of a part of your city – whatever that may be. It can mean having a go-to café or favourite hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Knowing how to navigate alleys and taking the shortcuts to your favourite destinations in the area. It can mean being part of a fitness community or an art studio with people whom you can connect with.

“Local” means to find a part of yourself in the city you’re living in. Regardless of whether
this may be in a ‘Cha-Chaan-Teng,’ in a book store or in a community that inspires you.

 

Do you think it’s important to feel like you belong to a certain place or a group of people?

“A sense of belonging is important, but so is an open mind and the ability to adapt to another place and empathise with other people.”

I think it’s important to belong to a certain place or a community because it gives you a stronger sense of confidence and assurance. It gives you greater peace of mind to know there is always a place you can feel at home and that there are a group of people who have your back.

At the same time, merely because you feel you belong to a place or a group doesn’t mean you cannot also have a sense of belonging in another place or to another group of people. As we grow and evolve, places and people we feel attached to might also change. To me, it is enough that there are certain places or people which remind you of your passions and what you stand for during every phase in your life.

Although having a sense of belonging is important, there is also a risk in identifying solely with one group of people or restricting yourself to a certain place. To remain open-minded, it’s essential to be receptive to new experiences, mindsets and ways of living; I always remind myself to try new things like reading a new genre, traveling to a new city or talking to people with a completely different background or worldview.

A sense of belonging is important, but so is an open mind and the ability to adapt to another place and empathise with other people.

 

 

Be part of #TCpeople:

To share your thoughts on what it means to be Third Culture – contact us at info@tcthirdculture.com

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