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hapa306Hi, I’m Johanna Clark and I am proud to be Hapa. My mother is Thai and my father is a Kiwi (New Zealander).

I was born in NZ in the early 70s and raised in both countries, but spent more time in NZ.

I currently reside in NZ but do intend on returning to Thailand to live at some point.

I have never felt the need to choose between either of my cultures — I am both. However, I do not find that I fully fit into either.

There has always been something different about me. I am tall (5’9”) and at the age of 12 I towered above the Thais — including the men. I was a giant and at the time this bothered me a lot and I did stand out.

I could never find any shoes in the local market to fit me. Believe me as a girl this is a very big issue! Although I was called “foreigner” and “half caste” I was never really picked on. Probably due to my size LOL. You should have seen me carting water from the well on my back in the rural village we lived in. I loved living in Thailand, I had so much fun.

In NZ my brother and I were the only Asians in the school. This never really bothered me. When I was young I didn’t see myself as different. Though I know my brother was bullied a bit and this has been an issue for him.

I am often mistaken in NZ as Maori (indigenous people) and people are often surprised when they find out that I’m Asian.

I speak both languages though my Thai is becoming rusty with disuse. I love to cook Thai — I always assisted my mother in the kitchen as a child, soaking up her cooking skills.

It’s great to read everybody’s stories and experiences. I do not know many other half Asians and it’s great to see so many people proud of their mixed heritage.

3 thoughts on “Thai, New Zealander

  1. Hi Johanna, I really related to your story as I am also a hapa living in New Zealand, and interestingly enough I also have been mistaken for being Maori as well.
    I am of British and Chinese heritage and was born in HK and lived there until the age of 7 which was when my family and I moved here.
    Great to hear from a mixed heritage living in NZ! I’ve found we are quite rare here in NZ.

  2. Hi Johanna, I am also half Thai and half white and know how it is growing up in countries where Thai (and Asian generally) are a small minority. I find that Thai people are more accepting of Hapa now because there are a lot and many become actors or pop singers lol well. Well I am glad to hear you we’re not bullied (as a guy physical bully is unfortunately more common from my experience) I was victim of it myself although who knows how much race or looks had to do with it. Bullies never provide reason to their victim…well thanks for sharing….is New Zealand like Australia? I was in Australia for a few months and it was definitely not what I expected….best regards Joel

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