My parents were married in 1962, before biracial marriages were a thing. It was shocking to some and a novelty to others. Some people shunned them and others embraced them as the totally opened minded and cool people that they are. My mother is from Trinidad and my father is a “white guy”… which means I have frizzy, sometimes awesome, hair.
My brothers and I ventured out into the real world, right when Cher’s song “Half-Breed” was hitting the radio. It got kind of crazy. As youngsters we experienced all kinds of racism, from both sides: some white people considered me brown and some brown people considered me white. My religion was up for grabs, and my culture… what exactly is culture? It was so confusing and I was so jealous of people who had clear definitions of themselves.
I have recently discovered the Hapa community here in Vancouver. When I say things like cultural confusion, they totally get it. We all share that moment in childhood, usually around grade 3, when you realize that your parents are different colours, and it’s usually pointed out by an innocent classmate.
Mixed race marriages are so common today that it seems like a non-issue, but I think it can still be difficult. Mixed religion can be confusing for kids, and it seems the news is full of stories about “race”, whatever that is. Finding community is difficult for us Hapa’s so here it is- a community for mixed race people… finally… thank-you.
- Hapa-palooza Team Member Nadine