8 Thing's I've Learned to Embrace for Being Mixed Race!
How I joined the smaller ethnic group...
Let's be fair, I didn't choose to be a part of this minority; however, if I had a choice to change that fact, I wouldn't. When I was a child I did think you could either be one or the other and being mixed wasn't acceptable.
I am mixed; Caucasian and Asian. Like many people who are mixed; at one point or another, would have went through life feeling different and as if you are disowned from parenting cultures. Have the questionable looks when people are trying to determine 'what you are', or if you're adopted. In my experience when I am around Caucasian people, my Asian side seems to stand out to them like a giant zit; and vice versa!
When filling out forms or speak to professionals and you have to determine which ethnic group you belong to; it almost feels humiliating and being alienated for being mixed! It's like you have to make a choice of whether you are one or the other; does having dark hair mean I am more Chinese? No, I am mixed and not I or anyone should have to decide!
This being said, in recent years I have learned to embrace the fact that I am mixed. I no longer ignore or deny my Asian side; instead I have taken my biological fusion into my day to day life!
I am not for one to wear a lot of make up, unless it's for a show or has to last for longer than a couple of hours etc. Regardless of anything if I go outdoors I always do my eyes. By this I mean, either a little eye-liner or some mascara.
For the majority of my life, I hated being mixed, but I have always loved the colour of my eyes. It isn't necessarily the shape of my eyes, but because they change colour and the suit the majority of eye shadow colours I like to wear.
Many of my peers spend a fortune on fake tan, sun beds and so on; born with a light tan all I have to do to get more of a glow, is sit outside in the garden embracing the British sun for an hour.
Not only that, but I find my skin not to be as oily as many of friends nor did I have many spots; even in my teenage years I probably had 10 pimples all together.
Growing up my hair gradually got darker, now in my 20s it is a deep dark brown but in the sun you can still see the light strands. Not only do I like the colour but my hair isn't too thin or thick meaning I can colour, and style it easily.
Most people wouldn't consider being a brunette something that has got to do with being mixed, but when both sides of my family have either light thin hair or thick dark hair; I find my hair a good compromise.
Most people pick up a new language at school, but nothing compares to being bilingual from birth. When you can speak, understand or tell a joke in multiple languages it becomes clear your mind works differently from most. It does come in handy when communicating with friends and family from various backgrounds. However, when in a household that speaks both English and Chinese, to say the least, your own vocabulary becomes a fusion in it's own.
I often find myself starting a conversation in one language and finish it in another, if my line of thought draws to a better descriptive word in the other language.
It also comes in handy when you watch films, order food, go abroad or go to the oriental supermarkets. When I go to a Chinese restaurant, it is not often the staff recognise my Asian side, and are often shocked at the fact I order in Cantonese and before long ask how I know how to speak the language with the correct pronunciations.
5. Culture and Traditions
It comes to no surprise, when you are mixed, you grow up with a mixture of cultures. You learn both heritages, styles, food, music, films, beliefs and so on. Some people, like myself, adapt this concept and creature a fusion to live by.
You can cheer on multiple sports teams, celebrate various holidays and embrace traditions. From celebrating two new years, holidays, offerings to ancestors, Christmas, dances, fashion, art; even superstitions.
6. Teaching; Sharing with Future Generations
Having the ability to shape, teach and show what makes me and any future child(ren) them. Who are they, where they come from, why we celebrate things differently from their friends at school and so on.
Not only that but family recipes and travelling the world to visit family; something many people don't get to experience.
We come from a multicultural society, but when it is in our DNA it's amazing to embrace something we are naturally programmed to do, feel and see. It could help with future generations, especially if they experience any bullying or alienation.
Everybody has their own belief system, whether you have faith for a religious or spiritual belief or for science; to each their own.
In our household we were not forced to choose between Buddhism or Christianity; I for many years said I was an atheist without considering what that actually meant. As I grew older, I realised that although I don't believe in a God/Gods, but I do believe in the morals and teachings. For example, I truly believe in respecting nature, parents, not stealing, killing etc
I do believe in doing good deeds, and treating people equally regardless of any differences.
Who doesn't like to experiment in different cuisines? At one point or another you may spend the majority of nights eating dinner that is native to your surroundings but fancy something like an Indian or Chinese at the weekend as a treat. When you like in a house that eats both British and Traditional Chinese food, you learn the ins and outs of the making of these dishes. You learn about the different ingredients, spices, smells and tastes that you will never forget.
Now that I am older and old family recipes have been passed down to me, I thoroughly enjoy creating a fusion of foods from my heritage. It doesn't become like the food you get from the carry-out but something quite unique only you can understand; for example getting a craving for potato scones with garlic pork.
I would also like to thank my parents, I'm sorry if in my youth you thought I despised the way I was or made you feel like I was disappointed or embarrassed at the fact because of you I am different and mixed. It's only now that I am older, I realise I love that I am not like everyone else and I am lucky enough to have a good mixture of both of you! I may not be unique, but I am an individual with many qualities I couldn't or wouldn't have without you.
© 2015 Kally