“Why do you look…. Asian?”

My friend sent me the above YouTube video clip
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWynJkN5HbQ) after she remembered a conversation I once had with her regarding race.

The general topic of race has always been apparent in my life because my parents were born in China/Hong Kong and moved to Australia in their 20s and had me and my brother.

The question I have been asked the most in my life hasn’t been “How are you?” but “Where are you from / What nationality are you?”

But what people are really asking me is “Why do you look Asian?” because whenever I answer “Australia/n” it never seems to be enough of an answer for them.

This actually only just happened last weekend. Apparently if you have travelled South East Asia for a couple of months you become an expert of different Asian races. (<—- was said with sarcasm in case you are a person who has travelled South East Asia for a month or two and now think you’re an expert on all Asian races).


Following the ‘race’ topic, I was also told in Spanish class on Monday (oh, by the way, Gambit and I are taking Spanish classes on Monday nights), that I am not really allowed to call myself ‘yellow’.   The Spanish teacher asked us to write down a few things about ourselves in Spanish (hello!  This is Spanish Level 1… we can’t even write the alphabet!) and the only word I had just learnt in Spanish from glancing at the text book was ‘yellow’, so I wrote that I am ‘amarilla’.

Well that caused a bit of commotion in class.  I then explained that I had been called a ‘banana’ back in Australia with further explaining the whole ‘yellow on the outside, white on the inside’ and again that didn’t go down too well.  Two girls in the class thought I was hilarious but I am sure they aren’t ever going to repeat what I said.

My aim while living in New York is not to get beaten up by anyone for my ‘liberal’ commentary.


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