Dutch | Indonesian/Egyptian/German
I identify myself as mixed-race, atheist and heterosexual. My Mom is Dutch, and my Dad is Indonesian, Egyptian and German. I recognized I was mixed-race when I went to school in another village. There were a few people of colour and one of them was ‘me’. I don’t think I’d call myself someone of colour because I’m very light Brown skinned. But because of my skin tone which wasn’t White some class mates had to appoint my color of skin, sometimes in an annoying way. During primary school I didn’t know I was mixed-race. Deep down I knew it, but I didn’t see differences in skin color between me and my class mates. In high school I received more comments on the color of my skin. That time I realized I was different.
The Dutch culture has been the main influence in my life. My Dad has spent the biggest part of his life in Holland. The few things from the Indonesian culture he taught us is some Indonesian words and the lovely Indonesian cuisine. I like to try new things/cuisines. But I’m also vegetarian and sometimes that isn’t very easy when you especially love the Indonesian cuisine with a lot of meat dishes.
At high school my class mates thought it would be funny to give me a name that suited my Asian background. If you combine my name and loempia (Dutch for spring roll) you’ll get Noempie as a nickname. After some time, I discovered how they came up with my nickname. I don’t know if my environment plays a part in how I choose my friends or my partner. All I can say is that I have friends with different backgrounds and my boyfriend is a mixed-race, Surinamese-Dutch.
I like the curiosity from usually people I’ve just met. Usually you’ll start a conversation like ‘Hi, how are you?’ And they’ll start a conversation like: ‘Nice to meet you where are you from?’ And I usually tell them the city I live in, but they asked me again ‘No, where are you really from?’ I think it’s funny and cute.
If I had the opportunity to be born again the only thing I’d like to change is to be less sensitive. Especially at high school you got bullied when you’re different than the rest. If I could do it all over again I’d be born again as a mixed-race and would be proud as I am now.