Reflective Reverie: So, I am of two races then?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Duality by Don Urban
When I was growing up, as far back as my earliest of memories in kindergarten and up to before hormones went haywire, just like most chidren, I was colorblind when it came to the topic of race and ethnicity. I found that some people were pleasant-looking and some were not so much.

While some were kind and funny, some were annoying and thus, fools in my little book. And that was the extent of my discrimination.

I did not grasp the meaning of the word 'biracial' or 'interracial' and I certainly did not view my parents as being different from each other other than that one was clearly a man and the other was a woman based on exterior physical differences.

At 9 years of age in a morning class when a sweet female teacher asked me to randomly address the class on the experience of growing up with interracial parents, a door was open to a side of the world I never knew existed.

So, I stood there looking puzzled. What was she talking about? She explained briefly that my parents were not of the same race and if I was to be kind and share my unique experience to the class. Strange question for a 9 year-old but there it was.

Because the teacher was smiling and overall had a lovely vibe, I let the question sink into my tiny brain. Any interesting story about your experience living and growing up in a household with two racially different parents that might as well hailed from Mars, Shanaz?

The last bit of the sentence is exaggerated for effect. All I wanted to do was to blurt a super short answer so I could race back to my seat.

Heart pumping, I resorted to mumbling that it was really not a big deal and that my family was like any other family, full stop. End of story. Must go now.

The smiley teacher nodded with more smiles and after adding her point of views that totally escaped my comprehension, I was allowed me to go back to my seat. Judging from the empty stares and sleepy faces of other 9 year-old mates, it was apparent that nobody gave a rat's tushie about what just took place.

And as I sat on the wooden chair pretending to daydream, hot red ears cooled down a little bit. I remember feeling like my parents must have been weird-looking to the folks in this place.

Now that I had finally found out that they were not the norm, should I feel bothered? Should I change schools? Luckily young prepubescent minds did not dwell and I continued the simple life of a happy child that fancied story books, bawled when her pet fish died and hated piano lessons.

What is your experience when you first found out that your parents are of two different ethnicity? What happened that made you aware of the fact? I would love to know!

This entry is to highlight the little things I experience in my childhood up until now to unearth hidden aspects of myself and life lessons in hopes to become better aware of the subconscious elements that play a role in making me, me. I am approaching this in a way of a reflective meditation and if you are a reader, please come and join me in this reflective reverie.

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shanaz@RS | 3:29 AM | Labels:

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