I think about my family and how we grew up juggling 2 cultures at home.
You see, I’m technically half Chinese and half Filipino. My dad’s Chinese and my mom’s Filipino. I went to a Chinese school before college and grew up learning to speak both Chinese and Tagalog at the same time. None of which stuck with me years later.
There were days when being a halfling was a good thing like being able to blend in both sides easily or get away with a reason as to why I can’t speak Chinese or Tagalog well. We also enjoy both traditions and hear a lot of interesting superstitious stories.
What I find difficult though is that feeling of not having my own identity.
For example, I’ve encountered being outcast in a group because I was “too Chinese” for them. On the other hand, some Chinese acquaintances don’t fully accept me for being “too Filipino”. I keep asking myself, which is it? That I’m too Chinese or too Filipino? There is a sense of not belonging to either group.
There is that feeling of being discriminated because of not being entirely part of something. It haunted me when I was younger but now it doesn’t bother me that much. I think that being part of two cultures is a great privilege. You’re unbiased about which one is right and which one isn’t.
It’s like standing on top of two worlds and seeing both sides clearly.
Growing up was difficult but the challenge taught me a lot. For instance—that people can choose their own destiny. We become who we want to be.