Hello and welcome back to my blog!
Today, I would like to talk about how a recent encounter made me feel.
Whenever I have worked, I have always gotten accused of not being able to speak English, or asked when I came to Canada.
All these encounters have made me think that I am not quite anything.
You know what I mean?
If not, let me tell you:
I feel like I am not quite Canadian.
I get this comment a lot from friends. “You are so Asian!” “You’re not that Canadian.”
People think that I am unable to speak or understand English either. Being born in Canada with immigrant parents really makes it hard for people to understand that I am Canadian too. I can speak English fluently and I have no “Asian” accent.
But at the same time, I am not quite Vietnamese either.
I do not know how to speak the language fluently, I can however speak a sufficient amount that I can communicate and understand.
I am unable to eat spicy food, and I also am very picky in what I eat. I am not as petite as the rest of my family, I do not tan; I burn, and I do not know the customs of Vietnam regarding manners, death anniversaries, the new year and many more.
It’s like I am trying to fit in,
Yet it feels like I belong no where.
I do not eat a lot of the foods Canadians eat, and I do not like a lot of the food Vietnamese people eat. I understand the customs in Canada and speak English fluently, while I don’t when it comes to Vietnam and the language. I do not watch a lot of the shows Canadians watch, but I do watch a lot of the shows from Vietnam.
It’s almost as if I am too Vietnamese to be Canadian and too Canadian to be Vietnamese.
I feel as though I do not belong in the Vietnamese community as well as Canadians.
I realize that no matter what I do, people will think that I am not Canadian.
I realize that no matter how hard I try, I may not be seen as Vietnamese by others.
Yet, I am both.
What I can take away from this is that, I may be one ethnicity and I may have another nationality, but I am both.
Nothing I do can change that and I should embrace who I am and not try to change to be one or the other. I may not entirely fit in, however, that just makes me who I am. To all other people who may be reading this blog, know that YOU define who you are. Not the people around you.
So what if you don’t speak your parents’ language fluently?
So what if you eat things other people in your community don’t?
All that matters is that you know that you are perfectly fine the way you are. It just takes a bit to realize that you are you and there is no better version of yourself. Only one that makes you happy and is you with all your imperfections.
Lots of Love
Julie Nguyen – Just a Vietnamese Canadian Girl ❤