Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts & Talks [10]: Ethnicity & Nationality

This is a meme hosted HERE that asks us to present something we've learned or thought about after we finished reading a book to anyone out there - sparking a conversation amongst us!

What I Read to Spark the feels:
Stealing Buddha's Dinner By Bich Minh Nguyen

This weeks Tuesday Thoughts&Talks topic is...ethnicity! More specifically how do you FEEL about your ethnicity? I'm going to try to explain how I feel about my culture and ethnicity as I see it and by NO means is it the 'right' way of thinking about ethnicity, it is just my opinion. Sometimes it is an iffy topic for people to discuss. What can/can't you say about a race or culture you don't personally know? It will forever be an on-going debate in society but I think we're at a place in the 21st century that it's becoming more acceptable to TALK about topics like these.

I think it took me a while to understand the difference between ethnicity and nationality. To this day I often get it mixed up. I've encountered quite a few people who are quite offended when others get ethnicity and nationality mixed up but to them I say, we're only human we make mistakes sometimes. It's important however that we educate ourselves on the differences of these two. My ethnicity? Asian. My nationality? Canadian. I hope I got that right. My parents were born and raised for half their lives overseas in Vietnam, China, and for a little bit Hong Kong. I am technically first generation Canadian in my family. Growing up in a place like Toronto, which is known for its multiculturalism, I saw no real segregation or difference between all the various ethnicities. At home however, I knew from talking with my friends and observing over the years their lives, that my parents were definitely raised differently and therefore projected a very different parenting style on my siblings and I. Their traditional ceremonies and their set ways about approaching certain situations were drastically different from the North American lifestyle that was unfolding in Canada and what I was starting to lean towards following as I grew up. I think it is hard for first generation kids from immigrant parents to fully feel they 'fit' in. On one hand we have a family that will raise you a certain way and in-still a certain way of life for you from birth. On the other hand, the life you try to find for yourself as you grow up and explore the world in which you were placed, asks you to abandon what you know (your parents schools of thought). How does one choose between keeping their family's traditions and values versus finding your own 'life' for yourself? I don't have an answer for this but it is a constant thought I have from time to time that was brought to my attention after reading Stealing Buddha's Dinner. I recommend this read to anyone looking to explore that first generation POV!

Welp, I think I seemed to have rambled on a little this Tuesday Thoughts & Talks! What is your take on the topic this week?

Add a link to your response OR just leave a comment below on this week's Tuesday Thoughts&Talks about ethnicity!

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