My mum is British and my dad is half Korean and half Vietnamese. He was born in Korea but moved to England in ’94 where he met my mum. Soon they were engaged and I was on the way, and they decided to move to Korea to get married and raise our family there.

But my dad’s parents did not take to my mum, and when I was just 3 months old my mum left me in Korea with my dad and went back to England, thinking that she would give me a better life.

When I was 1 my dad married a full Korean woman who also had a daughter my age. Being so young I didn’t notice any differences between me and my stepsister until I started school and kids would ask me why I was so white and where I came from.

I didn’t get it because all I knew was Korea and my Korean family. Every time I asked my dad what was wrong with me he would change the subject. But one day me and my stepsister were playing dress-up and came across some photos of a very pale woman with a baby so I asked my parents about it and that’s when I found out.

After that I felt like an alien. I tried everything to fit in but the more I tried the more I felt like I had no identity. I didn’t know if I was white or Asian. I felt like an outsider even with my own family and I knew the only way I could find an identity was to meet my real mum.

I met my mum on my 9th birthday and 2 years later moved to England to live with her. I finally felt like I had found my identity as British and even though now at 17 I have finally started to embrace my Korean and Vietnamese roots, I feel happier just to call myself English. I go back every year to see my dad and Korean family and every year I feel a bit more welcomed.

6 thoughts on “British, Korean, Vietnamese

  1. Nice story! I can definitely see Korean, Vietnamese, and British physical traits in your picture. I find that people with multiracial identities are the most exotic and most beautiful. Be happy. How is life with your mum? What was her reaction when she met you?

  2. wow! I really like your story! Its so interesting how you cope with such a situation, i.e. knowing about your mother in England and not knowing about it before. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story :D

  3. I really liked your story! I hope people can connect to this and appreciate being themselves. Embracing your heritage is always important I think.

  4. I have several friends who have grown up with similar stories, where they feel like they don’t fit in with a particular side of the family (sometimes both sides) or when – even worse, one side of the family hates the other (I have a friend who told me her mothers’ brothers and uncles all beat up her dad one night when she was a toddler and out with her mum – just because he was white)

    I’m not saying I understand what it is like to be from multiple backgrounds, but I have seen people very close me to struggling with attitudes from other people, and it really is such a shame that people like yourself have felt this way.

    It just shouldn’t be the case, pure and simple.

    I’m glad you feel comfortable and mostly happy now – great to hear :) I love this about Britain, that – more than any other country I’ve visited, my country has such a huge diversity of cultures, and I think it gives us an opportunity to learn, share, and love the fact that not everybody is the same – having visited countries like Poland, where everybody is the same, it just, isn’t as interesting somehow!

    • I can agree with goodywinks!I come from Poland,where indeed there isn’t as much diversity, that’s why I went to the UK where I met many people from different backgrounds!
      Because of that I could learn that we are the citizens of one race,we just have different cultures and ethnicities. If anything,blame the customs,not the physical looks!

      I’m glad that in the end you could grow up in England,it probably gave you more clear look over your heritage…

      I am now married to a japanese man, and in the future we would like to have a family.So far no one opposed us, our families are just happy that we found the ‘right’ person. We had some frictions before regarding different cultures but we try to talk about it as much as we can.It helps that we both lived in the UK and Australia before ,we can relate somewhere

      Reading all the fascinating stories on hapavoice.com ,just as yours ,will help me address my children in the future and understand their worries.Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. It’s a very touching story…
    I can’t imagine what decisions your parents had to make…
    Hopefully we live in much more tolerant society now so I hope you will never have to worry about things like ethnicity or cultural differences anymore!

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