Life
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THE #1 QUESTION I GET ASKED

“What’s your nationality?”

At least once a day, someone asks me this question.

Answer: Canadian

Sub-answer: Chinese and French

Of course I never get annoyed at answering, I’m proud to say who I am and where I’ve come from. Usually people respond with, “oh really? That’s an unusual mix” or they oddly want to know which one of my parents is the Asian one. I never understood why they’d want to know this…

Another common question I get asked is, “what do you consider yourself mostly. French or Chinese?”

Canadian. That’s what I consider myself first and foremost.

Growing up, I was never confused or thought about which nationality I am “more” of. I was born in Canada, I’m Canadian. My dad’s side is from China and my mom’s side from New Brunswick. So, I am both Chinese and French. Not just one or the other. I remember this was a discussion in one of my English classes, the topic of “identity” and what you consider yourself if both of your parents are different nationalities. The topic got so in depth and complicated, I rose my hand and explained that it’s not (at least for me), you can be more than one “identity”, which was the debate.

Then some student who always has to have an opinion on everything (if you’ve ever attended a University lecture, you know who these people are) asked, “So you’re Chinese?”

Me: Yes.

Student: And you’re French?

Me: Yes.

Student: “But you’re not full Chinese or full French, so wouldn’t you get confused if someone divided a room and asked that French people go to one side and Chinese go on the other?”

Me: “I’d stay in the middle.”

I then gave him a weird look and thought to myself… why is he so confused?

The below is a picture of me on my 18th birthday with both my grandfather’s. Aren’t I just a good mix of both of ’em. 😉

I always find it funny when I meet people who are half Asian like myself. Without a doubt, one of us will say, “you’re half, aren’t you.” Then we’ll laugh and exchange stories on how many times people ask what your background is and then suddenly feel connected ’cause you can relate to each other on a level very few will ever understand.

1 Comment

  1. wordschat says

    Interesting piece. I liked it. Here in Canada we tend to identify by linguistic and not national identity. The former is just a medium to the latter. Nice to find someone else that identifes as Canadian first and by heritage upbringing second.

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