hapa325Hi I’m Daniel. I was born in Holland. My dad is ethnically Chinese, from Indonesia, and my mother is Dutch.

I don’t remember being different before my early teens, apart from the Chinese antiques and occasional Chinese and/or Indonesian take-away food. In my early teens I became a Hip-Hop enthusiast, so I dove into a youth subculture, where different norms are held.

Learning about everything from Malcolm X to Rastafarianism, I got myself on a never-ending path looking for my roots. Growing up in Holland, this meant my Asian roots. I studied Asian studies, did my Masters thesis about Hip-Hop in Hong Kong, and had my Chinese period, which made me feel very non-Chinese. I later had an Indonesian period.

I tried to figure it out intellectually, by knowing more about Asia than Asians did. I really got into Taoism, Buddhism and all sorts of isms that have to do with Asia or the mixed race topic. I now feel I have a pan-Asian identity mixed with a cosmopolitan Western viewpoint. I embrace all of what I got, perhaps even more so than non-hapas would. And by that, I mean from a pan-Asian perspective. I’m especially sensitive to Eurocentric discourse, which always struck me as something I have to stand up against.

One sister converted to Islam, the other moved to Manila. It’s all one big mixed up identity thing. The term Hapa is quite new for me, I think in the US you guys are a lot more aware of it. Happy to meet.

Honestly speaking, this is the first time I feel there is a platform for MY people. Hahahahapa. Truly a gift to the world in my humble opinion.

I was happy when Obama became president. I cried, I heard the voice of someone who is mixed, and truly breathes the spirit of all mixed race people, and by that..of humanity. I think that is our greatest gift: we can see beyond provisional ethnic identities and look for the commonalities of all races.

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