hapa376My name is Sofia. I’m 15, and I’m half Turkish and half Indonesian. I was born in America, where I currently live, however my parents immigrated here from their home countries.

Part of me is proud of my Hapa identity because I feel that it makes me extremely unique, and I do enjoy standing out at certain times. People are often interested and fascinated with the way I’m different, but at the same time, being multiracial has given me a lack of self-confidence.

Sometimes I feel like the odd one out. I have a terrible time fitting in with the people where I live. My mixed genetics can make me incredibly insecure. I feel like I look like an alien, because my appearance is so different than the people around me.

Unfortunately, I don’t have dominating features from one of my parents that can make me easily identifiable as either Asian or Mediterranean, so most people don’t know what to assume and many are puzzled at first sight and feel compelled to ask, which is understandable. Sometimes I wish I could just be fully one ethnicity, so my facial features did not have to “blend” or “mix” in such a weird and uncommon way.

I’m still learning how to embrace my heritage. Coming from two totally opposite worlds is difficult, because I can’t fully adopt both at the same time, especially when I already culturally identify myself as American.

However, being Hapa gives me the amazing privilege of getting to be a part of two totally different cultures. I get to fully witness and become a part of the way of living as both an Indonesian and Turk in my household, and even more so when we visit our families. Traveling is my favorite thing to do and we travel often to both of these beautiful countries, which is definitely a perk of being Hapa.

Being Hapa definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. Although I face personal problems of not embracing myself yet and feeling isolated from everyone else, being Hapa is a gift. It is who I am and it can very possibly be the best trait about me.

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