goddamn maddie, if this is how well you articulate yourself when you’re ragey then i’m kind of scurrrred to see what comes out of that sexy azn brain of yours when you’re calmed down :o so jealous of your ability rn. i mostly just swear a lot -__-
but ugh. i won’t go into this article too much either, especially because what you already said pretty much nailed it, but i will add that oh man, the whole “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!??!??!?!!!!” thing is something that i can really relate to.
if i say “canada,” then they will ask “BUT WHAT IS YOUR ETHNICITY.” and i always have to go into a lengthy ramble about how i was born here, as was my mother, but her parents are from china, and my dad came to canada from hong kong when he was very young. i do not speak a lick of cantonese (or the rural cantonese dialect that my grandparents speak). i have never visited china. i grew up in a polish-ukrainian neighbourhood and never had any asian friends. i feel extremely disconnected to chinese culture because there was very little for me to connect with when i was growing up.
and yet, despite me being pretty much 100% integrated (assimilated?), i know that there will always be people who see me and wonder where i’m from, if i speak english, yadda yadda yadda. which leaves me always caught between two identities - the one that I feel applies to me, and the one that others assign me.
i am proud of being chinese and will never deny that part of my identity. it’s the canadian part of my identity that is being denied. by others.
I’m reblogging this (at my identity/race/etc. blog) because I can relate SO MUCH to what you say as well! Not least of all because, weirdly enough, my family history is very similar to yours, if you switch mother and father and sub South Korea for Hong Kong.
Anyway, I think you are right on when you say you have two identities, not ethnic vs. cultural which is what I often feel about my own split identity, but the one you feel and the one others assign. A lot of my personal project right now is to reconnect with/rehabilitate parts of my identity that I think are “missing”, but I wonder how much of this sense of loss is due to others constantly asking me why I don’t (speak Korean or Cantonese/cut my hair a certain way/practice certain customs/_____).
And I’ve had people ask me why I “don’t like being called ‘Asian’”, that is why I get on the defensive, and I think that’s precisely it - because I don’t know what they’re associating me with, consciously or unconsciously, when they call me that. Because non-status quo in a multicultural society is such a complicated affair that it’s rarely just “calling it as you see it”.