Hi my name is Rebecca and I’m from Sweden and I have lived here my entire life. I’m half Swedish and half Chinese and my dad was the one of Chinese descent and he immigrated from Malaysia to Sweden as an adult but passed away when I was 2.
I have only been exposed to my Swedish side and don’t know much about my dad’s side and his relatives who lives in Malaysia. So sometimes it can feel a bit confusing when I’m aware that I’m part Chinese and look pretty Asian but have either grown up with the culture and language.
Even if I’m not part of two different cultures I think it’s interesting being Hapa because of the ambiguous appearance I got. While I lean more to my Chinese side in looks I’ve been mostly mistaken for Latina, Thai, Khazakstan, Filipina, Native American and Hawaiian. Some think I look fully Asian and some see something else. It all comes down how people perceive different features. My hair is also pretty thick, wavy and naturally dark brown and I think frizzy hair is a pretty common problem among Hapas. My hair used to be straight, black and thinner but the texture changed as I got older.
When I grew up as a child I didn’t think that much about my background and wasn’t aware of the words Eurasian and Hapa. It wasn’t until my teens I started to think about it more. I always thought I was half Malaysian because that was what I was told but found out that my dad was Chinese and that his nationality was Malaysian and not ethnicity. I confused these two a little.
Here in Sweden I have mostly felt like everyone else and mostly not being treated differently because of my looks. I haven’t had that much issues while growing up and the biggest problem has been people asking where I’m from and while it can be tiring sometimes, it’s not something I see as negative mostly. People are curious and will then ask and if it’s asked in a nice way I don’t mind :)