My father is Cambodian and Vietnamese, my mother is German and French.
I grew up in Canada and was raised by my grandmother, who brought her children there after the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
She spoke Khmer, so I grew up with the language and Cambodian culture. I’m gonna be honest, not knowing who my mom was and not being able to see my dad often made me think that I was adopted.
When I went to visit Cambodia everyone was like “Look at that white girl, how come she understands and speaks Khmer?” Then I had to explain that my father is part Khmer and I was brought up with the language.
My mom had piercing blue eyes and dirty blonde hair and was tall, while my dad was tan, short, and had dark brown eyes.
I have one full-blood brother, we both look more white than Asian. We’re both tall and light skinned but he does not tan well — he burns red while I turn golden brown. I have hazel eyes that occasionally change between grey, brown, and green.
The only time I felt really different was when I was doing traditional Cambodian dance as a kid. All the other girls were full Khmer (Cambodian), so I felt really strange performing on stage because I looked completely different than them.
I had no problems in high school, people thought I was a crazy mix and I took pride in that. Having people’s parents say that I’m Hapa yet speak better Khmer than their kids made me smile.
I really want to find out more about my German side and French sides. Some of my family can speak Vietnamese and they tried teaching me the language, but that was a fail.
Hapa and proud.