I could almost promise you that within the first 10 minutes of meeting someone new, one of the first questions people ask me is, "So, what are you? Like, White or Asian?" And I mean sure, I don't have as tan of skin as some of my relatives who are fully Vietnamese, neither do I have as sharp facial features as my relatives who are fully German, but really? "What are you?"
This has happened to me 12 times this year. 12. What I find even more surprising is that it's not only people my age but everyone up until the age of 50, in my experience.
You'd think that by now people would accept others for who they are, rather than attempting to stereotype them into one specific culture over the other.
The term, "Asian" doesn't only encompass Chinese, Japanese or Filipino, but also includes others like Thai and Indonesian. I feel like people are so quick to judge someone to be in a certain category such as Asian, and that that term covers EVERY kind of Asian out there.
I'm not fully German nor fully Vietnamese (for those of you asking, haha) but a cross between the two. I'm completely aware that people could just be asking the question out of curiosity as they simply want to know more about my ethnic background; but most people are surprised that I'm a halfie. And I can only really respond with, "Well... I am'.
But by stating the question as White or Asian puts me off- like I'm supposed to be one or the other.
I can be both, as most people are, and am proud of being a mix between two completely different cultures. Maybe next time rather than asking so bluntly, "What are you?" save the question for a later time when you've gotten to know them personally- so that it doesn't seem like race is the primary thing you care about in a person.
Have any of you ever been asked if you were one ethnicity over the other? Let me know your stories in the comments below!