My Mother is Japanese, while my Father is from Pakistan. Although I have yet to meet a mix like myself, I do feel a bit special in that regard.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I was fortunate to settle into understanding the Japanese culture, as I learned to speak and understand Japanese early on. Generally growing up though I was seen and known more to be the typical Japanese kid.
But people nowadays would identify me as either Mexican, Filipino, or Vietnamese! I guess it can be a strange thing at first, but it certainly does keep people guessing.
Being around people was easy for the most part, as I came to make friends rather quickly. Whether they were Japanese (in Japan), Caucasian, Americans, Spanish,or African American. I felt reaching out to people was no difficulty. However, when it came to needs and resources, I would always want anything Japanese related. Even if it was sushi, natto, or fish fresh from Tokyo, I was one of those people that needed to surround myself with such items. I guess growing so close to one culture makes these things happen.
Going to school in the Bay Area was interesting because how diverse and widespread the culture is in the city of San Francisco. i felt like I was never alone. I’ve met many Hapas over the years, heard of Hapa clubs, and met many many different people with very unique stories. More times than not, I would teach people about Japanese, or give advice in Japanese to people wanting to learn english. It’s one advantage that i found to be extremely useful.
All in all, I cant really say growing up was tough because I have never faced any hardship or discrimination early on both in Japan and in the U.S., so I feel fortunate for that. Being accustomed early on, my knowledge for Japanese is much stronger than my Pakistani side. I hope to make an effort to learn more well into the future…and can truly say being Japanese and Pakistani is the best of both worlds.