General Question

McBean's avatar

Anybody else out there with a multi-ethnic background?

Asked by McBean (1703points) August 10th, 2008

I’m Chinese, Mexican, and Dutch. When I grew up in my grandparent’s house (Grandmother from Mexico, Grandfather from China), we always had both salsa and steamed rice with every meal. We had statues of assorted saints and the Virgin Mary right next to statues of Bhudda. (My father, who contributed the Dutch blood, never influenced or impacted my childhood in any way – since he was absent – except for my physical appearance.)

Now, when I crave comfort foods, they are a combination of the odd ethnic foods of my youth. Jook (or congee) and tamales every Christmas Eve. Oolong tea with saladitos (dried salted plums) when I have a sore throat, etc. How about you? How have your diverse ethnicities blended to create your own family culture?

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22 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

I’m an American. Of course I do.

MacBean's avatar

…Wow. I did a doubletake when I saw that username… “What?! I don’t remember asking that!” Duh, Bean. That’s because you didn’t.

sndfreQ's avatar

Yeah, almost a doppleganger! I knew the name sounded familiar…welcome you too (two), McBean!

McBean's avatar

Wow, thanks MacBean and sndfreQ! I know I did a doubletake when I saw the other MacBean here! I thought to myself…uh-oh…I’ll bet that MacBean won’t be so happy to see this McBean. Hope there’s room enough for two! I’m happy to be here.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yup. Mexican, German, French, and a bit of Swedish. I never really knew the white side of the family; the pretty much shunned my mother when she married a Mexican.

I grew up in a predominantly Latino area of L.A., and I was close to my dad’s family, so I associate more with the Chicano side of me. But, I don’t speak Spanish, so I am an outsider to the Latino culture as well

I’m just me.

McBean's avatar

@tinyfaery…I know what you mean. In my childhood, my mom and I were never really accepted by the Chinese or the Mexicans. It turns out that each collective group finds the other to be beneath them. My mom speaks fluent Spanish, but I speak next to none. Neither of us speak Chinese. My stepfather was Chinese and I grew up living over a little Chinese grocery store that his family owned. I look more caucasian than anything else so I never fit in at all. Oddly, when I am in Chinatown (SF) I feel so at home not feeling at home.

TheHaight's avatar

Yup! I’m half Mexican and half Japanese. I love how different both are and all the different customs I follow being Mexican and Japanese. When I was little I was confused by being two different races. I wouldn’t know what bubble to fill in when you do this standarized tests on your ethnicity. I used to hate my middle name because it was Japanese and wasn’t a normal one like “marie” or “ann”. But Ive learned to embrace it all…

McBean's avatar

@TheHaight…it just makes us more exotic!

MacBean's avatar

@McBean—”uh-oh…I’ll bet that MacBean won’t be so happy to see this McBean.

Nah, I’m easy-going! I won’t mind when people inevitably mix us up, as long as you don’t end up being like allengreen a huge tactless jerk. :D

La_chica_gomela's avatar

McBean, I’m also multi-ethnic, but even though I have dark hair and black eyes, I look extremely Anglo because I inherited my paternal grandmother’s incredibly pale skin. I still have to deal with the weird form of narrow-mindedness where people tell me I’m not Native American, or I’m not Jewish, or I’m not… whatever, because I don’t look like what they think I’m supposed to look like.

Allie's avatar

I’m Native American, Mexican, and Greek. My father, who is also absent, contributed the Greek part. Even though I don’t keep in contact with him, I regularly (well, somewhat regularly) go and visit my grandparents in Greece. My mom’s side of the family is mostly Mexican and when my Greek tendencies come out they usually notice and say something like “There’s the Greek.” Makes me chuckle sometimes..

Wine3213's avatar

I’m Cuban, Trini, and “African-American”. It was always weird around family holidays, because I had both sides together, and all the different foods really got hectic at times. I remember having limited conversations with my grandmother, especially without my mom there to help me translate. I mostly associate with the African-American side. I guess because that’s what I look mostly like, but I love having such a diverse background. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

McBean's avatar

@ Everyone who is from a multi-ethnic/cultural background… Isn’t it great to have so many comfort foods to fall back on?

Wine3213's avatar

Most definitely! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

flameboi's avatar


gooch's avatar

French, American Indian, German, Irish, Scotish, and maybe some I don’t know about.

charliecompany34's avatar

wow somebody just asked me this question at lunch! i can pass for either cuban, somalian, indian; but i’m african american. there was some interacial hanky-panky going on in my family lineage as far back as the 1800s. mulatto is my roots.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m African-American, Saponi (Grandma called it Blackfoot, but Saponi is what she meant), Scots-Irish, and a wee bit Welsh – mother’s side. My grandmother’s family was one of those “tri-racial isolates” who hid out in the backwoods of the near South since the late 1600s. Italian – father’s side, but I didn’t know him or his people, so I was raised more or less as an African-American. My mother’s family pegged my liking of Doctor Who, Python and rock music as “the white side coming out.” ::sigh::

In NYC, folks come up to me and speak Spanish a lot, which never happened where I grew up. Once, in line at a supermarket, an old lady got upset and yelled at me for “not speaking my own language”, so convinced was she that I was Dominican. I’ve also been taken for Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and once, Filipino. I met a Native American man a few years ago who sussed out that I was part Native straightaway. “We know our own,” he told me, but I don’t meet the blood quorum to join the Saponi or any other Southeastern Sioux tribe. Alas.

Designer's avatar

lol cool, i’m kuwaiti, indonesian, turkey, french,,, its fun to have a multi-ethnic background, especially the food part ;P

McBean's avatar

@aprilsimnel: Awesome and interesting answer. I see a book there…

@Designer: Wow! You are all over the globe! The family pot-luck table must be an amazing feast.

Ron_C's avatar

If you are an American you are almost guaranteed to be multi ethnic. I am Croatian and Italian, my wife is Irish, German, therefore my kids are a mini UN. Strangely, my daughters married guys that were German and Italian, respectively.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Most people in the US have a multi-ethnic but not a multi-racial background.

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