WHAT MIX ARE YOU?
I am part French, Romanian, Russian Jew and Half Japanese.
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
I currently live in NYC.
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?
Very! One thing I love about New York City is how it's one big melting pot!
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I grew up in Long Beach, California and went to elementary school in Orange County. I think there were a few mixed kids but not many. I didn't really identify with any of them.
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?
My mom worked in a bank and my dad was a customer.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
My mom is the Jewish side and my dad the Japanese. My dad's mother wasn't too thrilled about my dad marrying a non-Japanese woman. It created lots of awkward family gatherings. The Jews on one side and the Japanese on the other.
HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL?
I don't have much of an extended family. For the most part I will say yes because my cousins are also mixed. However, there is a big age gap so we were never close.
DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?
I was raised by my Mom and Grandmama, so I grew up in a Kosher household. We celebrated the Jewish High Holidays and we would get a Christmas tree and open presents on Christmas Eve.
WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Je parle francais un peu. My grandmama, however, can speak Yiddish.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
I love that I grew up with good Jewish food. Also, being an only child Hanukkah was always one of my favorite holidays. 8 days of presents yo! I didn't really start to embrace my Japanese side until recently. I would have to say the cool thing about being part Japanese is that I get to say I am a Jap squared; Japanese American Princess and Jewish American Princess!
WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?
My mother and grandmama always made sure that I was proud of my heritage. Kids at school can be assholes. Especially if you look different and eat different foods from what they deem as "normal". My family made sure that I knew it was ok to be different and to be proud.
DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
Honestly not really. Other than how people can be prejudiced idiots...
DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
I identify as Hapa. Hapa is a person that is half Asian half something else.
DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?
Race does not play into who I date. My boyfriend is half Lebanese half Scottish. We eat some awesome foods in our household!
WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?
Being mixed means having the best of two worlds. I believe we mixed folk are the face of what the world is gonna look like in 50 years. I think it's awesome! I always find it odd when a person is mixed and only identifies as one of their ethnic backgrounds.
DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED? IF SO WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THEM?
I am lucky enough that I have loads of mixed friends! I am currently trying to bring other Hapa's together via my blog MeSoHapa.com. My friends have taught me a lot about what it means to be mixed. That we should be proud of our multicultural heritage, and that its ok not to identify as just one thing. Probably why I love the word Hapa.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
What are you? Where are you from? You don't look (insert ethnic background here). You're sooo exotic looking. Do you speak (insert specific language here)? Ugh! People I am an American, I am not from some exotic country nor do I speak Japanese. Seriously, think before you speak.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
Equality. I know it's been said before but it needs to be repeated over and over until it's actually a reality.