What are you?

June 20, 2016

p06-sHapa. A term originated in Hawaii and is now used to describe many people of partially Asian heritage. I am hapa, half Korean, half Irish. Strange to think how those two almost opposite cultures came together to make me. The question of “What are you?” is not uncommon for me. I look mostly Irish with a height of 5 feet 10 inches and almost paper white skin, but my dark hair and Asian-like features confuse people. It’s strange being considered hapa. I don’t fit into the organized boxes of race. I am neither white nor asian, I am both. Too white to be considered fully asian, and too asian to be considered fully white. After explaining what I am to people, the next question of “How?” usually follows. Soon my rehearsed explanation of my parents meeting in Korea while my father worked there quickly escapes my mouth.

The problem of my race comes up in the most unusual of places. During standardized testing given to every student by the government, test takers were asked to bubble in his or her race, but the interesting part of this all was that each person was only allowed to bubble in one race. African American, Caucasian, Mexican, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander were all options, but Mixed was not. My hand quickly shot up when I came across this question. The words “I’m both white and asian, so I don’t know what I am supposed to do.” left my mouth. The teacher’s response was always, “Choose whatever you identify with more.” Those word always would frustrate me. How could I identify with one more when I was both? The world was confused by my mixed ethnicities. I was the product of an inter-racial marriage, something that was illegal in the United States until 1967. The truth is that I am proud of being hapa. I understand and am a part of two completely different cultures, a privilege held by a few people. I am not half asian of half white, I am both. I am hapa.

One Comment

  1. kelly

    November 26, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    yes..I like the basic concepts behind Second Life but it seems incredibly outdated and when I played it was intensely non-intuitive / user friendly to an extent that made EVE look like a game for toddlers. thanks from
    togel online