Dutch/Portuguese | Korean
At school I never realised that I was that different from everyone else and that my mum being Korean was the reason that kids at school would make fun of me. I didn’t really enjoy it. At the same time, on a Saturday, mum would send me to Korean school and I hated that as well. I was different from all the Korean kids who were there. I didn’t speak any Korean. I found it really hard to have any conversations with the kids at break times. It was quite difficult. I felt very alone a lot of the time. To me it was normal to have a Korean mum and I never questioned it. As a child I think I identified as a white kid being made to do Korean things and I almost kind of resented it a lot of the time.
Now, I actually feel really proud to have all these different mixes. I feel that the western world looks at the East Asian world with a lack of understanding. There is a lot of stigma and negative views. I kind of felt a bit like that about Korean people too because I have been raised in England. It wasn’t really until I went to Korea maybe six or 7 years ago and I was like wow this place is actually really cool! In the world cup when Korea beat Germany I felt really really proud. I am one of those people and we can play football well. I just wish it was like that more of the time.
I would come back as the mix that I am, maybe with slightly different experiences. The older I have gotten, the more proud I am of my mix. When I tell people, they are always really shocked - how did those different cultures get to meet and be together and produce another person? I enjoy having those different parts of me that not many other people have. When I am able to eat Korean food and know what I am eating or be able to read Korean words and know what they mean, that is what is different about me.