MEET THE CHIN FAMILY:
Diana, age 31
· ½ Spanish and ½ Guyanese
Ron, age 31
Michael, age 1
· ⅓ Spanish, ⅓ Guyanese and ⅓ Chinese
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Brooklyn, New York
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
Met online via Facebook from a mutual friend who went to the same college as us.
WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
During our time in college, some of our peers weren’t very accepting of the fact that we were dating. However, we had close friends who were very supportive, which has helped us out a lot during our transition.
WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME?
Every year, my husband and I would visit the NYC Transit Museum during the holidays. We were always a big fan of trains since we started dating. Our hope is that our son will appreciate the rich history behind the NYC Subway Transit system.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE'S RACE?
I enjoy celebrating the Harvest Moon Festival and Chinese New Year with the family. I was always fond of the Chinese traditions as it focuses on the meaning of spending together with the family while honoring our ancestors.
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?
My husband speaks Cantonese. I’m not able to speak Spanish fluently, however I can manage to read some articles in Spanish. I’m pretty sure there’s a good chance our son will be able to speak three languages by the time he grows up.
ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
Food! I love trying different dishes and seeing my in-laws cook various types of foods makes me happy.
DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?
Growing up, I was often bullied by my peers from elementary to junior high school due to my mixed background. Some assumed that I spoke Spanish and not English and as a result, they sent me to ESL. Truth is, I was always a quiet person growing up and had trouble making friends. When I entered in high school, that was when my peers accepted me for who I was. My husband felt that he was different from the other Asians in his classes growing up. Some assumed that he looked Mexican because his skin gets tanned easily. But it didn’t stop my husband from furthering his education.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING/UNEXPECTED THING YOU'VE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER'S CULTURE?
For both of us, it boils down to showing respect for our elders. We take great pride in understanding our ancestors that passed before us.
ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?
Majority of the people I’ve encountered assumed that I’m either Muslim, Jewish, Italian, and full blown on Spanish. It’s pretty much like a guessing game to everyone since they’re having trouble pinpointing my background :)
WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Currently, my son is 1 years old so he’s not at that stage yet.
HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?
When my son gets older, I’m pretty sure there will be a discussion with him on understanding the differences between races and treating others equally without discrimination.
WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE FROM YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?
Oh dear...aside from being strong, he sure loves to eat! And probably babble a lot. I think he got the babbling part from his dad :) Also, my son has the same hazel eye colour as mine.
HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TEACHING YOUR SON TO BE PROUD OF BEING MIXED?
To me, being mixed is about a mesh of cultures and ideas. It’s something that should be celebrated and not ridiculed nor ashamed of. My hope is when my son gets bigger, I hope to teach him that he should embrace his unique features and know that he can accomplish anything if he puts his mind into it.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
My hope is that everyone should be treated with respect and look beyond our skin colour and race. We are all human beings from the same Universe.