Of course our parents know that we are mixed... But do your parents think of you/treat you as more "white" or more "Asian" (regardless of looks)? Does your white parent relate to you as if you were only white and your Asian parent treat you like an Asian kid? Do they see you different than what you identify yourself as?
When I was younger, my mother would sometimes want me to act/be more Norwegian, because "I should not forget that I'm 50-50". But she also fed me with "Norwegian kids are like this and that, and I'm glad that you're not like them!", "Filipinos are very good at this and that, you should do the same!" My father mostly sees me as a Norwegian who looks a bit different, but knows that I'm more internationally oriented and have different interests than him. The rest of my family in Norway thinks that when I travel in Asia, I experience it the same way full Norwegian tourists do. (My Filipino relative from Norway once told me in the Philippines: "Here you must really miss eating potatoes!")
We were treated mostly as Caucasians regardless of our respective physical appareances because that was the culture we were surrounded with growing up and this unsurprisingly resulted in my siblings being very white-washed despite my mother wanting us to broaden our horizons by learning Chinese or Japanese. But you know even her was a little contradictory, sometimes Asians were the best at other times the worst similarly to yours toyomansi.
Last Edit: Jun 5, 2010 20:53:05 GMT -5 by Ganbare!
It might also be that with those of us who grew up in the west, our Asian parent thinks that we aren't able to get in touch with Asian culture by ourselves? In that way, they would see us as a white person needing guidance from them into a 'strange and foreign culture?
It's funny, but I think our parents treated us more as "Asian-American", comparing us to the *other* Asian kids in the community, not to the white ones. My mother shared with us very often about her upbringing in a mid-sized Alabama town, but perhaps due to the rejection of her pregnancy and marriage by her parents, she never thought of that culture as being one that represented my brother and me, nor one that we could participate in fully. Even when we visited Alabama as children, we played with the kids from another Eurasian family nearby - didn't mix with many of the white kids and definitely NONE of the black kids (which was not difficult due to segregated neighborhoods). However, my brother really gravitated to both American football and his southern roots in High School, and wanted deperately to attend the University of Alabama, the same place where Bear Bryant was coach. At that time, George Wallace was still governor, and my mother, who remembered vividly the time where we were small children during segregation, the time when non-whites were barred from attending the University of Alabama (you remember the scene from "Forrest Gump" when they allowed the first non-white to attend?), actively pushed my brother NOT to attend university in Alabama. He ended up going to university elsewhere in Maryland.
It is funny, my mother would tell me when I was in university that I was lucky - learned about Chinese culture YET knew as much about being white as her brother (REALLY? white people in small southern towns)? I felt as I watched both through window portals through the outside, never knowing what it was like to be inside.
My father never thought of us as "white" kids, At the same time, my father wanted to integrate more into the white community, teaching us that we were Chinese-American, yet promoting full participation in white culture. After his parents died, he consciously avoided the Asian-American communities, esp. ethnic Chinese ones, lest he be associated with them. He did meet up often with his Filipino-American friends, though. But after I learned Chinese, worked in a Chinese restaurant, attended a Chinese church, travelled to HK and Taiwan, etc. my father sort of "revisited" his Chinese heritage in late middle-age. When I got involved in Filipino cultural groups and learned some Tagalog, he was ecstatic. But it was I who led him, not the other way around.
^ I guess in the time and place you grew up in, mixed kids could never be compared to or grouped together with white kids. I remember when I was a kid, we were like a community of half Filipino kids (and some full Filipino) with Filipino mothers, and we had our own thing going on. If some white kids joined us to play, they often had too little in common with us. I think our mothers treated us more like Asian kids. But many of the EAs I see today who don't have this kind of community, are more white and are treated by parents as white.
Is there any particular reason why your father avoided other Asian-Americans besides Filipinos? Now that you mentioned leading... I remember that lately, after I had been around in HK and learning Chinese and such, my mom has now started trying out eating with chopsticks, decorating her house with Buddha figures and Chinese styled decorations and so on, and I didn't even encourage her to do any of it! ;D My ways just awakened her curiosity and interest I guess...
Last Edit: Jun 7, 2010 7:06:45 GMT -5 by toyomansi
Actually, I grew up a stone's throw from Andrews Air Force Base (home of Air Force one) and there were several kids from military families with Asian mothers in my school. But it seemed that all of those kids seemed to pass as "white" in school, even though I *knew* they were Eurasian. I think it was because they had western names, and their Asian mother was basically cutoff from the Asian communities, as they followed their husband.
My father felt that being ethnic Chinese in America incurred him all sorts of discrimination, and his parents were a hindrance to him. His Filipino-American friends liked to have parties and go dancing, have BBQ picnics and all sorts of social activities and he learned to have fun with them. So, for me, ethnic Chinese gatherings growing up were family affairs, but Filipino-American gatherings were my Father's friends. White gatherings were also my father's friends or co-workers. My caucasian mother was the one who was not from the local community, so we did not have gatherings that were family or friends from her side. That is why I always suggested in this forum that mothers may have more impact on what goes on INSIDE the house, but the father has more influence on the social contact and social positioning OUTSIDE the house. But in the case of Asian war brides, they were so much cutoff from their original communities, that their kids really could not get that exposure to their Asian side as much unless the family was reposted back to Asia. The Asian war bride mothers treated their kids as white, as *American* and that was how they saw themselves (from what I could tell).
Leading my father? - - - you see, I learned to understand and read and write Chinese better than my father. I worked in a Chinese restaurant and went to a Chinese church and travelled to Asia more than he did. I went back to his father's hometown in China before he did. I moved to HK. So, yes, it was me who took my father around to get back in touch with his roots. In fact, it is also me who is encouraging my *ninang* godmother to reconnect with her Filipino roots more too. I have been to the Philippines more than she has and I take her to Filipino places when I visit her -- and I am not even Filipino.
Because both my parents spoke Spanish at home, it was expected I would internalize hispanic values and standards. However, some of our relatives and most of my friends did not know Spanish, and it was inevitable I would stray from the expected norm. However, I am sure my parents saw me as hispanic and expected me to behave accordingly. I might have disappointed them.
I think mostly my parents just see me as their kid! But sometimes my white mum comments my vietnamese side, or says "you have a vietnamese" dad, like Im more viet or something. And my dad says Im Viet like him, think its cause hes proud of me and wants me to be more like him, and also I grew up with him so:)
My granny says I look like I could have been from most places. And my Norwegian friends say I look more white than viet. So dunno??? ;D