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My name is Ruth Kuo Halderman and I am the product of a German father and Taiwanese mother.

It was hard for me growing up to pin down what I was because I didn’t feel as if there was much guidance on racial identity coming from my parents. Not speaking any sort of Chinese made me feel inferior to the other Asian kids at school who were all bilingual and not being fully white made me the ‘token Asian’ to my white friends.

As I grew older, I began to form friendships with other people of mixed decent and could identify with the struggle to find a place to fit in.

Living in New York City, I get to see mixes of every kind walking past me on the street and it feels wonderful… like I’m not being stared at because someone is trying to figure out what I am. I love meeting someone who is multi-racial (especially Hapas) because we are the future, we are blending more and more racially as the stigma of interracial relationships continues to decline.

Now I embrace both my German and Taiwanese side with great enthusiasm and think of myself as being lucky to have more than one culture to take pride in.

2 thoughts on “German, Taiwanese

  1. Hi Ruth, really like your post. I also wasn’t given much cultural guidance growing up and I think this made it even harder to deal with the sense of exclusion that automatically comes with being mixed. I don’t think being bilingual/being more informed about my Asian side would have ended my feelings of being an outcast but maybe it would have helped deflect some of the negativity, maybe would have instilled in me a somewhat stronger sense of belonging?

    I like what you say about New York City too. I come from a military family and have lived all over, some places more tolerant of a multiracial background, some not at all. But moving here I had the feeling of coming home. In other places I’ve lived I felt isolated and alone but here the diversity really put me at ease. It’s not perfect but definitely my favorite place to live in the U.S.

    John

  2. I also grew up without much racial influence by my parents, which I wish I had more of to help me find myself and just feel more knowledgable about my heritage, but the funny thing about that is, it kinda happens on your own once you grow up a little.
    I could really relate to what you were saying cause I felt the same way at one point, not white enough for the white kids, not asian enough to really be asian, but yaknow, I came to realize I didn’t want to just be japanese or white, I’m happy to be bi-racial and unique.
    But I do still dream of the day I won’t live in such a undiverse state and I too can walk the streets and see many people of many cultures, I’m totally envious of you on that one!
    But yeah
    Congratulations on knowing how lucky you are to be unique and multicultural! And you’re gorgeous too!

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