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a tattoo, upon returning from China

岸: part of my Chinese name

remembering where I came from

holding on to my roots.


translation: “shore”

to balance out the ocean

of my namesake

to keep me grounded and


The day your education makes you roll your eyes at your father. The day your exposure makes you call your own mother uncivilized, the day your amazing foreign degrees make you cringe as your driver speaks pidgin English, may you never forget your grandfather from Oyo state who never understood English.
— Ijeoma Umebinyuo, for the foreign educated returnee
Ocean GaoComment