There’s a saying that all of us eventually will become racially mixed in some way and that there will be no ethnic divides as the world is becoming smaller and smaller so to speak. As someone who comes from mixed heritage (Chinese and Indian), I’ve always been immensely thankful that I’ve been able to take something from both my ethnic backgrounds and can’t imagine not growing up within a household that speaks more than one language, practices a diversity of traditional customs and best of all, celebrates more than one cultural festival! Of course, there are some negatives too. People tend to stereotype you as somewhat of an ethnic misfit especially when you’re in school and kids being as cruel as kids get, take it as an excuse to exclude you or make fun of your neither-here-nor-there cultural heritage. I for one suffered this only minimally because like many mixed-race kids would tell you, we learn from very early on how to adapt and assimilate quickly into probably any social setting. We have our mixed households to thank for that.
Still, I was curious—was my adaptability a product of my upbringing? I decided to meet a few other mixed-race kids and find out if they, like me, loved the fact that we are the very essence of globalisation. I was surprised to find out that most of us have more in common than we think!
MIX: I am half French (my Mom’s side), a quarter Indian and a quarter Chinese.
WHY ALEX LOVES HER MIX:
I believe that mixed kids get to experience a unique upbringing which pulls together a myriad of cultures and beliefs. I have grown up with a mostly Western mindset but I also have Asian values. I always say it’s the best of both worlds.
The best part of growing up within three different cultures? Well, for starters, these three races have some of the best food in the world and I grew up eating all of it! I believe that’s where my love of food and cooking has come from and when I create recipes for my business I usually take inspiration from all three. I also get to celebrate a lot of traditional holidays such as Chinese New Year, Deepavali, and the French Feast of the Epiphany just to name a few.
The world is becoming a much smaller place and there are more mixed marriages than ever before. I think it’s a beautiful thing that more of us are able to look past race and love a person for who they are and that certainly is not a negative thing.
TRISH LYRA LEO
MIX: My mother is Chinese and my father is Indian.
WHY TRISH LOVES HER MIX:
I have been asked the common question, “So what are you, actually?” I have no problems answering any questions about my heritage, upbringing or unusual last name. I am who I am and proud of it! And so far, I have never been put into any “box” because of it. As long as you’re open about who you are and willing to share, it helps people understand.
I cannot even see how coming from a mixed household could be negative! And frankly, it’s never even occurred to me that some people may see it that way. The world is getting smaller and I don’t see why we should limit ourselves to the confines of an ethnicity. I always joke that the Indians and the Chinese are the two biggest populations in the world. I was bound to happen. Don’t fight it!
MIX: My mum is Japanese and my dad is Malaysian Malay.
WHY NADA LOVES HER MIX:
Growing up within a multitude of cultures, I became more open-minded and I adapt to many different cultures. It also gave me the skills to pick up languages quickly! I love that I am an unusual combination of two different Asian cultures, my parents gave me the right to choose who I wanted to be and even though I suffered an identity crisis when I was in my teens. My family didn’t believe I had to follow any one side of my cultural heritage. I also love my skin colour as I look sepet but havetanned skin!
If I had one piece of advice to give to those who are suffering from an identity crisis because they’re mixed, it would be to remember that all the great stuff that comes out of the world is through the joining of forces of so many different parts of the world. We have benefitted from globalisation so in order to progress we should learn that the mixture ofcultures is really the only way forward.
By: Shakila Rajendra