Understanding what it means to be mixed

Understanding what it means to be mixed

York University’s Community Newspaper

Victoria Alarcon, Sports & Health Editor

People have always seen me as different. It doesn’t matter where I went, when it happened or who it was; I’ve too often come face-to-face with puzzled looks and people examining me, trying to dissect what I was. That curious look prefaced the inevitable question: “Where are you from?”

“This question of ‘where do you come from?’ has become normalized. For people that is a normal way of trying to figure something out about someone,” said Arun Chaudhuri, an anthropology professor at York University.

“It’s a very profound expectation of how you’re supposed to understand someone in terms of talking about where they came from and their origin.”

I’ve been called Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and a few other names that weren’t even close. But what people don’t know is that I’m mixed race.

Growing up I had a father whose ancestors came from China and a mother who was very much from a traditional Spanish family. They got married, and just like that, I was born into a mixed family. From my Asian eyes to my beige skin, I was neither Chinese nor Spanish, but both. The hardest part was constantly being surrounded by scrutinizing eyes and getting past their judgments to accept what I was…

Read the entire article here.

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