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who are YOU?

Tuesday. 12. 9. 2008.

Since moving to Sweden I’ve found myself questioning who I am. Probably because people ask me so often where I’m from. Every new person I meet, the question of where I’m from always comes up.

So here’s what I’ve come up with.

By appearance and by race, I’m Chinese. There’s no doubt about that. Well there can be some doubts but I’ll trace it back to my grandparents and they’re all Chinese. People meet me and they think, “Asian” or if they know their shit, “Chinese”. But by mentality, I’m Canadian. Let’s face it, I can hum Hockey Night in Canada and sing the national anthem in both English and French. I understand what a “double double” is and spell colour with a u. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about the Chinese. I can speak and understand Cantonese (although that’s slowly deteriorating) and I know that THE holiday to look forward to is Chinese New Year. I don’t think eating a black egg is weird or gross and I grew up not going to little league but to math tutors and Chinese school.

Assuming that I will live in Sweden just as long as I lived in Canada if not longer, I’ll probably pick up some Swedish things. I’ve already begun. I know what makes a complete julbord and when I put my groceries on the conveyer belt at the supermarket, they’re not in a pile but neatly lined up with the barcodes facing the scanner. According to Fredrik I make a pretty awesome meatball. Although according to some, I shouldn’t have put garlic in it.  😀

So I’m a mish mash of cultures. But sometimes I wonder if not knowing so much about being Chinese makes me a bad person. Am I rejecting the culture I was born to understand and be part of? But I don’t think I’m rejecting anything. I’d love to know more about the Chinese except that sometimes they can be so strange.

Then I got thinking about what would happen if Fredrik and I have children. They would get asked if where they’re from. They certainly wouldn’t look like the stereotypical Swede. Then they’d have to explain that their dad is Swedish and their mom is Chinese by genetics but is Canadian but she’s been living in Sweden for god knows how long. It gave me a headache to think about it.

So who am I? I’m still trying to figure it out.

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