Hi I’m Sylvia and I’m a 3rd generation Malaysian Indian.
My dad is Malaysian Indian and my mother’s family (I thought) was ethnic Indian from Canada.
Growing up I always imagined myself as being Hapa but brushed them aside as thoughts of a disillusioned teenager.
To my surprise, shock and amazement my mum’s sister who lives in Canada did a DNA test a couple of months ago and guess what the results were??
Hi! My name is Deanna Kawena Kubota and I am Japanese and Jewish born and raised fourth generation Japanese from Maui Hawai’i.
I’ve been called Hapa my whole life and it has been a source of pride and problem for me.
Pride because most local people see my Asian heritage as something to connect to. Problem because there were more than a few Japanese kids who didn’t view me as Japanese. Haole (white) kids didn’t see me as Haole because I wasn’t. Not culturally. Not even heritage wise as I later found out. Continue reading
Many people have mistaken me for a number of different ethnicities, most of the time ending in anything but what I am.
I love every part of my background, as it adds facets to who I am as a whole.
Hawaiian, Indian, Hispanic, Italian, Chinese… I must have been mistaken for them all. When I tell people my background, I either get, “I had no idea!” or, “Wait, you’re Japanese AND Jewish?” or even, “You’re Japanese? But I thought you were Jewish!” as if I couldn’t be both. But I am! I am proud to have a Japanese mother and a Jewish father.
Growing up, I spoke Japanese and English at home and began studying Hebrew in school. I spent the school year in the U.S. and attended school in Japan during the summer. I might have become more Americanized over the years, but I plan on learning more Japanese language and culture, revisiting Japan, and taking a trip to Europe in the future.
In both countries, I get asked about my race, and I enjoy saying that I am multi-racial. There are things I just love about both, and I’m lucky to have them all. In any part of the world, Hapas are unique, and it is wonderful to be a part of multiple cultures.