Complications of Identity for Mixed Race Canadians

Posted by Ando, 28 Sep

"Which side are you, really?" That is one of the hurting questions that mixed race Canadians have too deal with. The other one is: "Where are you from?" These questions always spark a lot of emotions in such individuals.

The "Which side are you, really?" is the one they find harder to answer. The thing is, these people are Canadians, born to at least one immigrant. Yes they may look different. Yes they may not even look slightly like their parents. Some have no clue about their parents' culture or native languages because these are individuals who were born and raised in Canada.

All they know is the Canadian culture - the language, the food, the history, the TV shows. These are born and bred Canadians.So why do people feel the need to categorize them? Why do people want to make them choose which side they identify with or belong to and yet they are Canadians? Isn't it enough for them to say they are Canadians?

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The Huffington Post's has an ongoing series dubbed "Born and Raised". Well, here is how a few of the mixed race Canadians, who are also editors of the Huffington Post, feel in regards to that question:

"I don't believe the places where my parents were born define me. And I don't think they define them either. They're just labels, words we use to help us form connections, but also words that separate us." - Joy D'Souza

"As I've gotten older I've developed a firmer definition of my self-identity. Though it's not exactly rock solid and I think I will always be a bit conflicted about how to scale the different races that make up me and my family, I know what defines me." - Angelyn Francis

"The question I've been asked consistently throughout my life is, "which side do you identify more with?" I hate this question. You are forcing me to choose between my Italian culture and my Filipino culture. It feels like you're asking me to decide between pasta and puncit. Between gelato and halo-halo. Between my mom and my dad." - Alanna Cardona

"My mom and grandma, as Indian as they were, never really raised us with what I could obviously identify as Indian culture." - Mike Sholars

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