Hi, 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.