The beauty of the North American melting pot
I was thinking the other day that only in the U.S. or in Canada can you really be of two different cultures and have it sound perfectly normal.
..whereas in other parts of the world you are either a native of that country or you are not, which I think might make for some rather difficult and awkward situations when you are a child of a different culture but definitely a native in a country that does not recognize you as a native.
Can you imagine for instance, being born fully Chinese in France, but trying to tell people you are “French-Chinese” because you identify so strongly with France?
Or vice versa, a French person born in China can’t call themselves “Chinese-French” either, because they aren’t of that Chinese race, even if they speak, act and in all other aspects, behave as though they are Chinese.
It sounds so odd to my ears now (maybe I’m the one with the limited view!) that I cannot imagine someone being Chinese, having the right to call themselves “French” as well, as “French” conjures up a certain race, which is incongruent with being Chinese.
I suppose if you were mixed, as in you had a Chinese father and a French mother, you could very well claim to be “Half French, Half Chinese”, but not if you were born to fully Chinese parents in a country called France.
Same goes with other countries: Portugal, Spain, Syria, China, Thailand, and so on.
It struck me as very interesting that only in the U.S. and in Canada because of our “multicultural melting pot” beginnings, can natives and immigrants alike, really embrace being part of a country that had not really defined itself by any one single culture at its birth.
No one (at least I don’t) finds it strange in the slightest that you are “Vietnamese-Canadian”, being fully Vietnamese by race but born or having lived most of your life in Canada.