Dutch/Surinamese | Colombian

I identify mixed-race: Colombian, Dutch and a quarter Surinamese. Because I have been raised Catholic, I still feel a connection with the Catholic church. Despite of that, I identify as somewhat Atheist. My Mum is from Colombia, my Dad from The Netherlands. They met at the airport. So romantic. My biological Father is Dutch/Surinamese. In March 2017 I discovered his identity and background. The doctor always told my parents that the donor was a 100% Dutch, now we know this was not true. Because I recently found out, I sometimes forget I am ¼ Surinamese. I grew up in Groningen and in a little village nearby.

I recognized I was mixed-race from a very young age. But always in a very positive way. My Mum taught me some Colombian morals and also how beautiful their culture is. Especially their music. I always (and still do) wear my Colombian roots with proud. However, in Colombia they say I don’t look Colombian, in The Netherlands I don’t look like the typical Dutch girls.

My Mum was always very open to the Dutch culture: music, food, way of living. My Dad felt the same way about the Colombian culture. They both also speak Dutch and Spanish. Of course, my Mum was a bit more-strict than my Dad, but for the rest of it everything went pretty well. I have never experienced any negativity due to my mixed heritage.

My social environment does play a part in how I choose my friends/partners. My friends and exes have the same interests and way of living as I have. I was raised in a ‘White community’. I think it’s easier to have a partner with the same beliefs and way of living. I think my mixed heritage has had a positive effect on my work. My last editor-in-chief told me that she loved my boldness. Absolutely my Colombian side. I am also able to speak Spanish. I am super happy with that.

I had a man telling me that I’m difficult to identify; ‘You’re so Dutch and down to earth but also very Colombian and emotional at the same time, it’s so confusing’. Totally have to agree with him. I feel a connection with both cultures but I’m very, very Dutch. When asked where I’m from I tend to answer differently based on location. If they ask this question in the Netherlands I always respond with ‘I live in Amsterdam but I’m from Groningen’.

A positive based on my mixed heritage is that I always have the feeling that people think I’m very trustable. I don’t experience any problems being mixed-race, but I hear stories from other people that they’re being judged or that they don’t feel 100% at home. But it depends in what environment you live. There is a lot of judging in the world, that makes me sad.

If I had the opportunity to be reborn I would like to return the same as I am now. I do remember that there was a period in my life that I wanted to be White, have blonde hair and blue eyes. I was 13 at the time. I didn’t like my hair colour and started to dye it blonde. I have been doing that until last summer. I’m quite happy with my colour of hair now so I stopped dying it. The sad thing now is that I can see my grey hair again, so I’m thinking of dying it blonde again. But not as much as I did previously.