Monday, 4 March 2013

The Joy Luck Club


By Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four Chinese mothers and their first generation Chinese-American daughters, living in San Francisco, Califormia; two generations in a continuous fight to come to terms with their cultural identity.

These immigrant families start a club known as 'The Joy Luck Club', and they play a Chinese game called mahjong while they feast on a range of foods.

The book is structured in four parts, divided into four sections to create sixteen chapters. The three mothers and their four daughters (one mother dies before the novel opens) share stories about their lives.

Later on, after being a best seller, it was made into a film directed by Wayne Wang.

Watch an interview with the director:

Now, watch a scene from the film, where Waverly introduces her American boyfriend to her parents:

Now, discuss:

Do you know any second generation immigrants to any country?
In your opinion, what are the main snags immigrants have to face when leaving their own countires of origin?
Is the current world the perfect melting pot? Why/Why not?
Would you move abroad in search of a better life? If so, where?
What cultural differences would you find most shocking?
What cultural differences would immigrants coming to your country find most surprising?

Read further information about The Joy Luck Club.

Finally, let's make a map-based story narrating one of their trips from their country of origin to the USA. Choose one of the mothers, surf for information about her itinerary and create your tale.


  1. Estupendo trabajo, que nos abre definitivamente al Océano Pacífico y al Mar de China :) No conocía la herramienta. Voy a incluirla en nuestro almacén de cachivaches.

    1. Gracias, Joaquín, en breve comenzaremos a ver los resultados del trabajo del alumnado.
      Un abrazo

  2. I don´t know any second generation immigrants but I´m sure that the main snags they have to face are related to culture because they see life in other way. Despite we are living in the globalization, some immigrants have problem to blend in.

    I´m thinking on move abroad but I don´t Know actually where but I suppose I would find most shocking how people relate to people in their regular day.

    1. Tru, sure they see life in another way, totally different to ours, and that might be why they have trouble blending in.
      If you are thinking of moving abroad, don't forget that every day life is different in each place.
      Good luck!

  3. I don´t personally know any inmigrant in our country, but I can imagine that there are a lot of snags they have to face when they go abroad. The most important thing, in my opinion, is the language. If you go to a country where they speak a different language, you´ll need some time to addapt to it. Other less important things could be the food, the culture, meeting new people, etc.
    I think that the world is a good melting pot, because you can go anywhere and make your life there as many people do. But it could be better, in many countries inmigrants are not well seen yet.
    I would move abroad if I had to look for a job for instance. In fact, I´m thinking about it. I´d like to go to a northern country like Norway, Sweden or specially Finland, but I think that their languages are very difficult to learn.
    I think that if I went to one of these countries, the most shocking difference I would find would be the timetable. Here we have lunch and dinner late, we go out at night and spend a lot of time out but they don´t.
    One inmigrant comming to our country, it deppends on the country they come from. Each country has it´s own coulture and they are all different, so the change won´t be the same for someone from America or for someone from Japan. But there´s one thing I think that every inmigrant in our country find surprising: the social life in the street, bars and all these places.

    1. Adapting to a new country is always difficult.

      Immigrants coming, dependable, no wonder! Each country has its own culture, that's it, that's why it is all melting pot, I guess, but social life is undoubtedly something that anybody coming to Spain finds surprising, though not shocking!

      Good luck if you eventually make up your mind and move abroad!

  4. I know some immigrants who are second generation, they are perfectly integrated in the culture where they live.

    But immigrants have a lot of problems when they arrive in other country. They need papers for living in that country, to have a house or simply to open a bank account could be a hard work because banks need a home address but for having a home, usually it's necessary to have a bank account.

    That world is not the perfect melting pot, fortunately there are a lot of differences beween the cultures, Europe is a lot different than Asia. Languages, religions make increase this differences although this last years the Internet reduced it.

    It's very hard to move, to immigrate is not easy, you should leave a lot of things in your country. But in case of immigration.... I would move to Canada or Australia.

    For me is hard the meal times. In Europe is totally different than Spain, and usually Europeans are more polite than us, they are always using "please" and "thanks" wile here is hardly impossible to hear it.

    To speak up, the noise, the lively cities and towns, food, people seem rude (that in fact is not true), in my opinion theese are some differencies that immigrants could find surprising for them.

    1. Arriving in another country is always troublesome, everything is hard work.
      Europe is much different from Asia and of course both language and religion might widen these differences, even thouse over recent years, the Internet has narrowed them.
      Meal times are hard for everybody, true, Europe is totally different to Spain, and in Spain it is almost impossible to hear certain phrases, but it is not true that we are rude, although lots of things might be surprising for inmigrants.

  5. Nowadays more and more young Spanish move to other country, such as Germany, in order to find a job. However, some years ago Chinese people came to our country in search of a better life. One of the main snags that they had to face when leaving their own countires of origin was the language. They had to learn Spanish as soon as it would be possible if they wanted to communicate with native people.
    A cultural difference that immigrants found most surprising was the food. They said that it was very difficult to find the products that they used to eat.Fortunately, nowadays there are lots of stores which sell them.

    I consider that the current world is the perfect melting pot because you can find people from all over the world in each country.
    I really like living in Spain. Nevertheless I would move abroad because I think it would be an amazing experience of my life. England would be one of my destinations. It would be a fantastic opportunity to improve my English too.

    1. More and more Spaniards move to other countries, no choice, I suppose,these days, but if you ever decide to move to England, no doubt it will be an incredible experience.

  6. I know some second generation inmigrants I thik they really feel this country is theis homeland. The most difficult thing their parents had to deal with was the language but over the years it isn't a problem at all.Besides moving to another country is more commun than some years ago.I mean, we are more open-minded and there are lots of inmigrants around the world so cultures, people, religions and so on are totally spreaded.However it's very esay to give your opnion when you are still living in your own country, in your conmfort zone.In fact,If I had to live abroad I wouldn't know if I was able to make up.

  7. In my opinion go far from your family and friends is the main snag immigrants have to face when leaving their own countries of origin.However, nowadays it is easy move to another country and live with compatriots.
    I would move abroad in search of a better life, but I would choose a country which would be the less cultural differences as possible.I would find most shocking the differences about the human rights, especially for women. I mean, the fact that women are not allowed to do some things is the same way as men do and women are considered inferior than men.In my opinion, for an immigrant coming to Spain would find most surprising our outgoing character and live dailylife.

    1. Going far from family and friens is hard, no doubt, Julia, although it is easy to move around, although the fewer cultural differences, the better, for sure.
      It would be most surprising for anyone, our personality, I mean, I agree with you.


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