Essay Writing Competition 2022
Category: 8 - 11 years
- Winner -

Winning Essay "Freedom" written by Songchen Zuo.

Freedom Winner 2022


I’m sure you know what it’s like to go about your daily routine. But I’m not sure you know what it’s like to have a sudden change.

Just when my family and I were planning to leave Australia and go back to visit China, the Covid pandemic broke out, restricting me from going back to my homeland. It felt like all the freedom was taken from life and my hopes were dashed.

I am an eight-year-old Chinese boy living in South Australia. I moved here when I was one with my family. My family wanted me to go to school in Australia. This meant we left our entire family. It’s just me and Mum and Dad. Of course, we have lots of photos, but I miss them.

Being Chinese means that I must be competitive. My family want me to do well, and I have to compete because there are lots of people. Sometimes this can be fun but other times it is hard. Being Chinese also means that I get to celebrate in a lot of festivals. This is always fun.

My favourite is Chinese New Year. Normally I would fly to family in China to celebrate but for the last 2 years, we celebrated zoom from our home in Adelaide. Making dumplings is always the highlight for me. I make dumplings with my Dad. He flattens the dough and I cut it. We fill them with mince and vegetables. I took some for my Australian friends in kindergarten, and they really enjoyed them. Perhaps, I should take some to school for my friends soon. At school, sometimes I feel a little shy. There are other Chinese kids, and it makes me feel less lonely. When I play soccer, it really doesn’t matter that I’m Chinese.

I’m just a regular Aussie boy trying to score a goal. Surprisingly, as the pandemic has continued, Australia loosened it rules, while China has tightened theirs. The rules in China were harsh and strict that my feelings about China have begun to change and my feelings for Australia have deepened.

Grateful that I can leave my house, go to school, play for my teams, and have opportunities to not only learn but have fun. In fact, I am an Australian Boy who was born in China.

In the Age category 8 - 11 years, Songchen's outstanding essay was chosen as the winner. 

Well done, Songchen! Thank you very much for your insights and sharing your fabulous story 'Freedom'! You and your parents can be very proud of your achievements living far from your extended family! Congratulations! Enjoy your freedom! And certainly, there will be a day soon you can all celebrate Chinese New Year together in China too. 

Songchen attends Unley Primary School in Malvern/ Australia. His home language is Mandarin, English is his second language.

Competition Winners 2022

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