British | Cape Malay

Alia Alia Hague.jpg

My dad is British and my mum is Cape Malay - an ethnic community in South Africa originating from Malaysia. I wouldn’t say I identify as either fully, but if asked I’d say I’m from London.

I grew up in Hounslow which is a pretty culturally diverse area in West London. There were people from all over the world living on my street from Ghana to the Philippines. While in Hounslow it was maybe not the most picturesque childhood but I loved that I had friends from different ethnicities and could be a part of their cultures. I had a lot of Indian and Pakistani friends growing up and I was always welcomed and almost adopted by them, I spent a lot of time at their homes watching Bollywood movies and eating homemade chapatis!

I started thinking about my race I suppose at times like Christmas. My Cape Malay family didn't celebrate it as Muslims (Christmas was summer holiday time for us in South Africa) but we'd visit my Dad's family in Wilshire for a traditional Christmas lunch and presents. I enjoyed both times but realised things were different.

I love being mixed race. I like that my story has two sides. It might not fit together into a perfect shape but so what! I think mixed race will become a less frequently used term in generations to come. People are often more mixed than they realise when they start looking into their family backgrounds. Everyone's story is interesting and I think we should take more time to hear them.