I often find myself asking my mom which language she thinks in, her native Japanese, or her adopted English. I’ll ask who she’s rooting for during the Olympics, whether she really feels Canadian or Japanese, or even just keep track of which country she’s been living in for longer. While she has a Canadian permanent resident card, not to mention a family, job, and life here, she retains her Japanese citizenship.
A lot of the time, I feel confused about my roots. I don’t really belong with the Asian side of myself, having no stereotypical “Asian parents”, nor do I worry too much about my grades or feel like I fit in with my nearly all-Asian Japanese class. But at the same time, I’m not exactly white either. To be honest, I’m not even sure which countries my dad’s side of the family comes from. The furthest back I can really trace my family tree is merely with the people that I know, and that doesn’t go back very far.
So when the winter Olympics came to my home town, who was I rooting for?
Well, Canada, of course. Even though I may not know who my ancestors are, or exactly who I am, as far as ethnicity goes, (I’ve been called a halfie and a hasian, among others) I am still a Canadian, through and through. I love my country; I love how beautiful and vast it is, I love the diversity of it. I love that we have the two national languages, and that, for the most part, we are accepting of different cultures and are in fact a “mosaic”, rather than the American “melting pot”.
I loved how intense everyone got when the Olympics came here, how probably two-thirds of the people downtown were wearing Olympic clothing, Canadian flag capes, red and white face paint, and how the beeping of passing cars and screaming of people didn’t cease for quite some time after we had won a hockey game. I love how the entire few hundred people I watched the gold medal hockey game with at Holland Park in Surrey jumped to their feet and yelled every time we scored, and how we collectively sung our national anthem after the winning goal. I love that commercial that said “Let’s make sure everyone knows whose game they’re playing“. I love the national pride the Olympics brought to our country, and to me.
My country is my ethnicity, it is my roots. Although I may be half Japanese and half white on the outside, on the inside, I am a Canadian.
(This was my roundabout way of doing this week’s student blogging challenge, by the way.)