Keeping culture alive: Growing up with a family business

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Most students tend to keep their work lives and home lives separate, but for Amanda Liu (12) and Siddarth Sharma (11), this is not the case. Both students have taken vital parts in operating a cultural family restaurant. 

Liu’s family owns the Beijing Chinese restaurant on Macon Road, which has been open for nearly 10 years. 

“I used to play and sleep there,” Liu said. “So the restaurant was almost like a second home to me.”

Liu’s primary role in the family business is advertising the restaurant.

“When I was younger, I used to help out at the restaurant a lot, but now that I’m older, I help my parents with setting up our website and food delivery services,” Liu said.

According to Liu, there is also a strong cultural impact that comes with helping her parents operate the restaurant.

“Because of the restaurant, I’m always exposed to different Chinese food. My dad makes authentic Chinese food for the restaurant, and it helps me be more in tune with my culture,” Liu said.

Sharma’s father partially owns the India Palace restaurant, which is a family business located in Midtown. Sharma has been working alongside his family for six years as a waiter, stopping only recently in the summer of this year.

“People are way more friendly here because we have this hospitality一because it’s a family business,” Sharma said.

“Working [at India Palace] has given me a lot of work experience,” Sharma said. “I’m also able to cook Indian food myself because I’ve learned from helping out at the restaurant from when we were short-staffed.”

All in all, cultural family businesses have given students like Sharma and Liu a variety of unique 

experiences.

“The restaurant is one of the main ways that I bond with my parents,” Liu said. “It’s one of the main parts of my childhood.”

Amanda Liu (12) stands with her mother and father outside Beijing Chinese Restaurant. Liu has played a role in her family’s restaurant since she was young.