English | Chinese

Rebecca Goodwin.jpg

I was born in Malaysia and lived for 4 years in Epoh in Kuala Lumpur with my mum and my dad. My dad is Chinese Malay and my mum is English. When I was 4 I moved back to England with my mum. I grew up in the Cotswolds which is predominantly a white area, there’s not a huge mix of nationalities. My mum is white and her family are all white. People would ask my mum when she adopted her children. I feel like I have tough skin but I don’t think there was anything racist towards me, I was just seen as different. It was the same for my brother as he has a very strong personality.
I wouldn’t identify myself as mixed but also I would never identify myself as only English. We moved to Wales from the Cotswolds when I was 14, this was a big change as the people here were very closed minded. There were no other ethnicities there at all.
When I was 21 I did a ski season in Switzerland. I remember one incident where a guy said “your English is almost perfect”, assuming I was fully Chinese and my first language wasn’t English. I wasn’t angry but thought the ‘almost’ part was quite funny.
I’m not as interested in the history of my Chinese side in comparison of my English side but it’s funny I say that as I did an Ancestry test recently as my mum was adopted and I found out I am 44% Chinese, 30% Scandinavian & 4% Polynesian. I’m not English at all!