British | Chinese


I think I probably see myself as being more British.
I grew up in Hong Kong, and there are loads of mixed race people in Hong Kong. But I think local Hong Kong people wouldn't see me as Chinese at all. However, I do see myself as partly Chinese because I grew up in Asia. Most of my friends were Asian as well. I don’t speak any of the Chinese languages and in that respect you are not fully integrated into the community. 
My grandmother who's the Chinese grandparent never taught my mom to speak Chinese because she was from Beijing where they speak Mandarin . We grew up in Hong Kong where it's Cantonese so she just never taught my mum Chinese and then my mom never taught me, there is no follow up. When you're young you don't really have the initiative to learn yourself. Do I regret that? Ok, it’s something that I grew up into, I mean I've thought about it very briefly but ultimately I am not a great linguist and I think if I were to go back to Hong Kong or live in Mainland China itself I'd do it. Also it's an incredibly difficult language to learn and you need to be practising it all the time. I've got a lot of friends who went off and did a gap year in China and learned basic Chinese but now none of them, even those living in Hong Kong can remember very little about it. I guess they just don't use it as much as they might on a day to day basis. 
I went to a boarding school in the UK when I was nine, while my parents were still in China. Most people in school could tell that I was mixed race, but most people did perceive me to be British I guess. I never really get asked ‘where are you from', I think it's such a melting pot here in London that people are generally British first of all and it wouldn't really work asking people what their cultural values are. 
I would not say I would be happy to be reincarnated into one or the other culture, because there are some cultures that I find very difficult to understand the way that they operate. I feel ultimately that it’s going be entirely normal to be a mixed race in the future, particularly in cities like London.