Chinese Malaysian | Persian

Peyvand Sadegihian.jpg

I consider myself as being mixed but a Londoner, if people ask me where I’m from I will say London. I grew up in east London which is a ethnically diverse area. I was aware of my difference because no one I had met was the same mix as me. Loads of mixes but no Persian and Chinese mixes.

At school my lunchbox always had these weird treats, kids at school would always ask me what I had.. Secretly I always wanted Monster Munch. I love cooking and like to cook from a range of cultures, when I was living in Peckham.  I really soak up the culture and would sometimes cook rice & peas that made my friends laugh.

My parents met in Stratford, they aren’t together anymore but I was the result of their union. Growing up I would pick up bits of each culture. When I was 10 I was taken to Iran for the first time. My dad came to the UK after the Islamic revolution, he was in exile for a few years and eventually went back with me to show me my heritage. We originally were going for two weeks but it ended up being two months because we got stuck there. Because I was British and had a British passport it conflicted with my dad’s Iranian citizenship and they didn’t accept my passport. I have an Iranian ID card because of it. My mum was writing to my local MP here trying to get me back, but they said they would look into it in 6 months’ time. My dad and I were arrested for espionage, very similar to the Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe story, which could have been me. I don’t know the ins and outs, but I know there was bribery involved. I remember getting to the airport and panicking because I didn’t know if I was going to make it back to British soil. I learnt at a young age how important nationality is, my heritage is important, but it is also a burden because of what happened to me.

I found on both sides of my family that they recognise me as being English rather than fully connected to one of my ethnicities. I am always the English girl. My parents have cherry picked what they wanted me to take away from their cultures, from that I have cherry picked what I wanted to take away. so it’s quite diluted.