Naomi Cornelissen | 直美コーネリセン俵屋
“What is the biggest advantage and disadvantage of being hāfu?”
Please share your answer to Naomi’s question in the comment area below.
|Born in||the Netherlands|
|Lived in||the Netherlands|
|Reading and Writing||⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪|
|Speaks||Dutch - English - Japanese - German|
Advantages: Never burn, great food, don’t get Asian glow
Disadvantages: being called slurs, feeling invalidated if I don’t check all the boxes
Multilingual, multi cultural, I feel I am more accepting of differences and generally more open minded
I truly wish I was not allergic to alcohol!!
The bad point is that I have to study extra because I have two languages. The good point is I get to travel to America every year. I also get to celebrate double the number of holidays- ones in Japan and ones in America. (The Easter Bunny even visits me in Japan)
Being bilingual (especially the ability to find the right words if one language doesn’t have it) and bicultural. The food. Having a community and especially friends who I can relate to.
Not fitting in to either Japanese or American society (being too American for Japan and too Japanese for America, despite spending 95% of my life here)
Being able to understand two different ways of thinking.
Well as an Okaasan to a haafu child, the best part is being able to teach him about his Japanese cultural side. It’s not just the language and food, it’s about everything. I may be Caucasian, but I am Japanese enough to instill a lot of Japaneseness into him. He has picked it up naturally and with guidance. He gets all the Canadianness from everyone around him at work and at school. He gets the Nihon side from mama at home. Sore wa watashi ga ichi ban ureshii desu. I can teach him Nihon no bunka without having to go back to Nihon myself. Best of both worlds!
The food! 🙂 Getting exposed to that at an early age is such a joy later in life. It’s something most of us can relate to on a personal, “natsukashii” level cause there are quite a few things we tried as kids and absolutely adore for the rest of our lives!
You get to start young & learn 2 languages early in life!!!!
For me, there are only disadvantages.
Advantage would be …
to be able to draw the best of both worlds!
It’s made me a more diverse person.
It’s made me a more accepting person.
It’s made me a more compassionate person.
It’s made me a more tolerant person.
It’s made me a more empathetic person.
Disadvantage would “have been”….
The receiving end of discrimination
The receiving end of taunting and name callings
But … when you soon discover (at a younger age) … that ppl tend to bully against what they don’t know or understand … you learn to harness that to use it to empowering yourself.
You are the best of both worlds – yes I know it’s very cliché, but honestly you can work with it in your advantage, you can become the bridge between your two countries. Disadvantages would be feeling like you don’t belong to either place and feeling trapped somewhere in the middle. Depends on your upbringing and background of course.
That’s a surprisingly difficult question…
If I had to say, I think it’s usually a lot of fun to delve into your own cultural background regardless of what it is, and if you’ve got two (or more) it just adds to the intrigue.
On a more personal note. One of the things I’d noticed growing up is that Asians very often “stuck to their own.” They did interact with other races, but when they went out on weekends, I’d see surprisingly large gatherings where EVERYONE was Asian.
The nice thing was that I got included, but one of the side benefits of being half was that I never felt “restricted” by it. I just noticed a tendency in full Asian friends to resist getting too close to white (or other) people.
I never felt this limitation in that I was half white and felt comfortable hanging out at all Asian functions or just going out with a bunch of white guys from school.
I’m not exactly sure why there’s that tendency for people to “keep to themselves,” but I feel far richer in being free to be close to anyone that came my way. Asians really embraced me and let me be a part of the “Asians only” scene, but white people (being that I grew up in a predominantly white community) were absolutely fine taking me along to do “white people stuff.” LOL!
To be fair, I honestly think most white people would have been fine taking along any ethnicity (regardless of whether you are part white or not) to do whatever they did… but I noticed more of a tendency to shy away from “white people stuff” among minorities.
I cant say for myself ,and not sure if my answer counts but as a mother of 2 hafu, I can say that when we are in japan my kids are treated as gaijins,when we are in my homeland they are treated as Japanese.