Serbian | Thai
I’m mixed-race, heterosexual and an Atheist. I do believe something is out there, but I wouldn’t call it a God. I have the same values as anybody who does believe in God. My Mom is from Serbia and my Dad from Thailand. They met in Bangkok, while my Mom was on vacation in Thailand. Because she was 33, she just thought: ‘If I get pregnant, it’s fine. I will raise the baby by myself’. I grew up with my Mom in The Netherlands. She moved here when she was 17 and she had me when she was 34. When I was almost 4, she met my Stepdad, he is Dutch. Because I had no Father on my birth-certificate he acknowledged me as his daughter. My biological Dad I met in February 2018. I signed up for a TV-show to find him and they did. I have to admit that I feel complete now.
I recognised I was mixed-race at an early age; my parents are both White. My whole family is White. My Mom is kind of a rebel. In Serbia they are mostly Eastern Orthodox. My Mom never raised me with religion. My Dutch Dad is raised an Atheist. So, there were not many differences concerning religion. Serbian people are really emotional and passionate. While Dutch people are more blunt and don’t really show their emotions. Thanks to my parents I can understand lots of people because I know where everybody is coming from. I think I’m a balanced mix of both of my parents.
My Dutch Dad is 11 years younger than my Mom. When I was a teenager I looked kind of the same as now. I always had the feeling people were staring at me when I was walking outside with him. Because lots of Caucasian men go to Asia to get a younger girlfriend I always thought people thought I was his girlfriend. So I always said ‘Dad’ a lot when we were outside. Other than these moments I never felt my mixed-race was a challenge. I never got bullied. And I’m proud to be mixed-race. I think lots of people get frustrated other people asking them ‘What they are’ but I was always happy to tell them. I grew up in Amsterdam. There are people here from all over the world. So my friends are from everywhere as well. My fiancé is French. I met him in Paris. He is Congolese, Italian and French. We are expecting a baby right now, so that will be an interesting mix.
I don’t think that being mixed-race has had an effect on my work/personal life. People are surprised though. A little while ago I was talking to this lady on the phone about one of my clients. When I met her in real she told me: ‘I didn’t expect you to look like this; with your name I expected a blond girl’. I thought that was interesting, but it didn’t bother me. I remember in college that teachers always looked for the typical Eastern-girl when they called out my name the first day. When I raised my hand they were surprised. Because we live in Holland, my Mom always talked Dutch to me. We went to Serbia often, until my Grandmother died. I could speak Serbian when she was still alive, but I lost a lot because I never spoke it again. I can’t speak Thai neither, because I met my Dad just recently. But my half siblings don’t speak Thai neither and they grew up with him. It’s a shame I can’t communicate the way I would like to with my family from both sides, but on the other hand, I grew up with my Dutch family and we are really close.
I see myself as a child of the world. I can be super Dutch, but because I don’t look like it, I’m different. I don’t feel really Serbian, but I love the food, the country and my name is really Serbian. I love Thailand. I’ve been there several times since I’m 14 and still going almost every year. When I’m there people look at me, but when I tell them I’m half Thai, they don’t believe me. I am a mix, and I don’t feel like I have to connect more with one culture than the other. I mostly I let people guess where I’m from. I find it funny to hear what people think. After they guessed I just tell them where I am from.
I find everything positive. For me there is no down-side on being mixed-race. I have the feeling it’s becoming more common now. People travel more, people are less ‘scared’ of another race then their own, people appreciate other cultures now. My Dutch Grandmother told me that when she was young, she would only eat Dutch food. Now we eat dishes from all over the world.
If I had the opportunity to be reborn I would like to return the same. Maybe I wanted to have met my Thai Dad and siblings earlier in life. That’s the only thing that made me insecure. Now I know them I feel like my puzzle is completed.