Canadian/English | Chinese/Jamaican

Malan Foubert Wan.jpg

I am Chinese, Jamaican, British & Canadian. I grew up just outside of Toronto, Canada. But lived in the UK now for 15 years.

I recognised myself as kind of an outsider, particularly very mixed. But because of the diversity and cultures I was aware that I didn't fit with one particular group. I guess I would say unique is the best word. My name is different so I would get teased a lot for that in a kind of prejudicial way. I'm really proud of my heritage and background even in being mixed. 
I never had a sit down Christmas Turkey dinner. First of all, my whole family is vegetarian so the meal was full vegetarian. My dad's side are very Jamaican so Christmas for them was very different, everybody goes round to one person's house and it's like buffet style. The food was very mixed as well. Some people had Turkey, rice and peas, jerk chicken etc. In comparison to the typical white backgrounds of Christmas Turkey sit down dinner I realized it was very different. 
I feel most at home in culturally diverse backgrounds. So for instance, Peckham is great, I feel I can really blend in. I don't feel very comfortable in very middle class, white area and I don't know why, I guess just a personal thing.

I feel a real affinity to any kind of racial or ethnic group that's been slightly oppressed, it might sound really far reaching but I feel like I side with the underdog and that that makes sense to me. I was thinking about mixedracefaces planning an exhibition; I think it's really interesting because not often has there been a platform for mixed race people to have a voice. 
I was saying to Tenee earlier, when I first moved to London I was close to a group of South Africans. I felt such a close bond with them and I learned a lot about apartheid from a firsthand experience from what they went through or what they experienced over the years growing up. It's a whole mix of basically anyone that's mixed and that's what they are called in South Africa. Like beyond the apartheid situation, colored was not something that was specifically addressed or fought for.