In Life, Travel

The beauty of a melting-pot culture and society

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.

  • Japanese-Canadian
  • Italian-American
  • Greek-Canadian
  • Chinese-American

..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?

Travel-Photograph-Lyon-France-Countryside

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.

WHAT SAY YOU? DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH MULTIPLE COUNTRIES OR RACES?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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5 Comments

  1. Stephanie Garland

    Nations that have a predominantly migrant population- Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia- may conform to your views. Of course that is only because the true native populations in all four countries Maori and Aboriginals are completely swamped by migrants so the original national identity has been destroyed.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well we are not any better here. We had native americans whom we have all but eliminated in North America.

      Reply
  2. Jaime

    Yes lady I do! I have a very diverse heritage. And at times being a mixed child has made me feel like an outsider, although it also comes from its benefits. Lemme explain Sherry.

    My bio dad grew up poor in Costa Rica and through hard work he won a scholarship at a university in Russia back when Russia was part of the Soviet Union. The reason was an education is an education even in the soviet union. Even if you get a degree outside of your country, you can always legalize them when you move back to your country, so that was his plan.

    He met my mom in Russia and they decided to get married. I was born in Russian and lived there, then when I was 5 1/2 we moved to Costa Rica and we lived for four years, after that they got divorced, then my mom met an American and we moved to the U.S. when I was roughly around 9..

    I never got a classical Russian name so that was interesting to begin with. My name was always Hispanic. I don’t remember much of my time in Russia except a few memories with my family.

    Then in Costa Rica I just considered myself Hispanic and fit in pretty well as I learned the Spanish language pretty fast. Once we moved here I just considered myself American.

    In the U.S. it’s a bit weird to say that you’re Russian-Costa Rican or White Hispanic. I just call myself an American since I’ve lived here since I was 9 years old and have American citizenship. I got it around age 17..

    The only problem with being a mixed child is you feel like you have two feet in two different worlds the American world and the Hispanic World.

    Sometimes I feel like it’s three worlds because of my Russian heritage and because of my Hispanic heritage I look a bit Asian even though I don’t have any Asian in me.

    I realize that Russians tend to marry Asians that live in Russia due to Russia having a huge Asian population, but my family can trace our Russian lineage pretty well and we do not know of any Asians in our family.

    I also noticed due to Russians and Asians in Russia living among the Russians that they tend to have similar concepts towards family and culture.

    Also Hispanics tend to have almond shaped eyes and that’s what I’ve inherited.

    So sometimes people ask me “So what ethnicity are you?”

    Anyway so yes I do feel like an outsider at times. Although Hispanics have been very nice in embracing me however my Hispanic experience is very different from most Hispanics that live in the U.S. because many of them come from Mexico due to hardship. I don’t really share that experience so that’s what is different.

    I also fit in with Americans pretty well too and have both Hispanic and American friends.

    Also Costa Rica has its own melting pot with the Caucasians mixing with the Native Americans. My dad is Native American which is the race and Costa Rican is the nationality. Okay, have I confused you yet? 😛

    I get confused myself!! 😛

    The other downsides are bigotry towards Russians due to the cold war and racism towards Hispanics. Although I don’t really have a problem with this as some people do, but have faced a couple of situations in my life where I got prejudged for being “different.”

    Not anything super bad, but like people wanting to talk about Russian politics and this one time this Hispanic girl told me she was better than me because she wasn’t half-Hispanic. Overall 99% of Hispanics in the U.S. have embraced me and make me feel like a part of them.

    Then when I was a kid back in the 90s I got told that I don’t look Russian because they thought all Russians have blonde hair. Um no, not all Russians don’t. And I got asked if my family used to live in Moscow. That’s like asking an American visiting Russia if they’re from NYC.

    Anyway, the benefits are that I grew up in a household that valued languages, travel, open mindedness, culture, I got to live in 3 different countries growing up. I have a lot of compassion for Hispanics. Some people don’t know what to make of my unique heritage as I’m so mixed.

    In college when I took diversity classes to fulfill the diversity requirements I felt like I didn’t need to because I felt like I was the diversity course myself HAHA. ^_^

    Of course I took them like last semester because I needed to and I still learned a lot. Okay I really rambled here a lot!!!

    I grew up watching both American and Hispanic media and I’m still in touch with my Russian heritage so technically I have 3 cultures.

    Although I don’t think I’m going to be too alone much further because by 2050 Hispanics are set to be a majority in the U.S. but my experience will still be different. because of the Russian heritage and all that.

    I also noticed that Hispanics identify culturally and accept me as their own even after I tell them I’m mixed, and so I think Hispanics identify culturally but Caucasians really don’t. Some societies think collectively and others are more individualistic.

    That’s just not only me that says it, I was watching a Great Courses video that talks about the differences in cultures and the professor teaching it also made this fact known that some societies are collective and others are individualistic.

    BTW, I live with my bf and he is German-American. And we joke around how the Germans and Russians used to be enemies long ago. Anyway, it’s rather interesting being a diverse person.

    I’ll like listen to Spanish pop music, then watch an American movie. Then when I visit my mom we go back and forth between English, Russian and Spanish.

    In a way the world is more open to you when you live in a multilingual home. Anyway I’ll shut up now. I really like this quote and I live by it a lot.

    The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

    -Thomas Paine

    P.S. sorry for all the rambling. I haven’t had breakfast yet, 😛

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I love your long, novel comments!

      Reply

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