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I’m Marie Bartz, and I am one proud hapa. Ever since I’ve heard of the term “hapa”, all I’ve done was embrace it. If I was asked what ethnicity I was, I would say I was hapa before explaining that I was half Japanese and half white.

Foreigner in Japanese is “ganjin” so my dad and I joke and call me the made-up term “hanjin” as in “half foreigner.” My boyfriend and best friend are both hapa, along with many other friends as well. One of my hapa buddies and I even set aside a special day to embrace our hapa-ness. I intend to get a sweatshirt that says “Don’t worry, be hapa.”

Being hapa to me is like it’s own race. I mean, we have a title! It’s not “half this, half that,” it’s simply “hapa.” I find myself becoming closer to people who share my race and I couldn’t ask for it any other way. I’m proud of who I am, and I’m glad that I can have a taste of two completely different cultures. I guess I think I’m a little ethnically spoiled, but really, I’m just lucky.

On a side note- it bugs me that as I’m typing this email, my computer is underlining the word “hapa” in red as if it is spelled incorrectly. It should be marked correct. Being hapa isn’t an incorrect thing so the word shouldn’t be incorrect either. Stupid computer.

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