I was born mixed race, my father is Chinese and my mother is French. There are tales of someone on my dad’s side being Portuguese.. maybe? As the story goes, my great-grandfather was born in Macau (a Portuguese settlement of China), but he was adopted so it’s unclear who his birth parents were.. perhaps one of them had a little Portuguese in them? That would make sense.
Sometimes people get confused about what my background is, “I can’t pinpoint exactly where you’re from, but it’s exotic.” Ok well, I’m from Canada and it’s cool to be curious but def don’t call me exotic (that’s a whole other rant I won’t get into today). Without a doubt I always get, “you’re some type of Asian but mixed with something else.” I wrote about this topic back in 2012, which you can read here.
About a month ago I decided to try out 23andMe (receive 10% off your own kit using my discount code here). If you’re unfamiliar, 23andMe is a decently comprehensive ancestry breakdown that tracks your family history based off your DNA. The kit was mailed to me and inside contained a small vial. I was instructed to spit into the vial to the designated line, seal it up, and mail it back to the lab.
Fast forward a couple months and I HAVE MY RESULTS, and they were quite surprising:
As expected, I’m majority Chinese and French. As for the German part, it likely has to do with ancestors living in countries in the French & German region (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, etc.). I would simply classify myself as French since my family members on that side parle français and history traces us back to île-de-France. So cool!
What surprised me the most was the fact that I’m 9.3% British & Irish. My mom mentioned my great-grandfather (on her side) had some Irish in him so this makes sense. It also likely explains my obsession with potatoes, boil ’em, mash ’em, stick em in a stew.
I would not have guessed I had some Vietnamese in me, but I’m proud of the 4.0%. It makes me question, am I Vietnamese because of my French side when they invaded Vietnam in the 19th century or is it because of my Chinese side since the countries are in close proximity to each other. I have so many questions. Regardless, I’ve never been to Vietnam but it’s on my travel bucket list.
Interestingly enough, it seems like the tale of having a wee bit Portuguese in me is a FACT, even though it’s a small percentage of 2.0%. Again, I’m not sure where this comes from but it’s funny to see that it’s woven into my DNA. I visited Portugal a couple years ago and absolutely loved it, you can read about my adventures, here.
The report not only included an ancestry breakdown but also a trait report, which can be seen below:
Weirdly enough, the above does perfectly describe me. I’m definitely a better sprinter than distance runner, dark chocolate is FAR superior to milk chocolate and moving forward, I’m blaming my bad sense of direction on genetics.
I’m still going through the entire report, it’s lengthy and goes into detail about ancestry composition, traits, and DNA relatives. Who knew that spitting into a vial could tell me so much about who I am and where my ancestors came from!