They are adorable, delightful and happy, with engaging personalities.
The two girls and boy on the left are Han Chinese, German and Irish. The three boys on the right are Han Chinese and Ukranian.
While others may see them as “Hapas,” their mixed race heritage is not unique, or notable to them, in any way, in their living and learning environments. One father had to explain the historic significance of Barack Obama’s election to his then 7-year-old daughter.
Not only are their experiences quite diverse, their parents have embraced and encouraged multicultural exposure and view it as an advantage.
One niece is fortunate to attend Spanish language immersion K-5, where 90% of her instruction is in Spanish. There’s now a lottery and waiting list to attend this Silicon Valley public school.
Two nephews, who live in Los Angeles, attend a Mandarin immersion K-6 public school. Some parents drive their children, students at this Los Angeles charter school, over 30 miles in each direction for this wonderful educational opportunity.
While my nieces and nephews grow up unaware of being “Hapa,” they are proud of their racial “parts.”
In fact the awareness trend continues. On the US 2010 Census form, respondents had the option to self-identify more than one race. This Summer, the US Census Bureau plans to release demographic information on 63 race categories, as people self-identified themselves, or their children on the Census.
Ten years ago, when, for the first time, respondents had options to self-identify as more than one race, nearly 7 million people (roughly 2.4 percent of the respondents) indicated such.
While “Hapa” may have divisive origins, it’s become quite endearing.
Take a look at my nieces and nephews. Auntie Denise is so lucky!