Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why ya gotta waste my flava?

The truth is, with me being as awesome as I am, people ask me where I'm from all the time. Their conclusion always somehow ends up being that I'm from Jordan. And I understand that when you meet a really amazing person, you have to wonder what mix of culture and environment could produce such a person, was it the south, was it Canada? Maybe traveling as a young army brat created the personality that is me?

I also understand, that I'm very arabic looking and have a middle eastern last name.

But I can not understand why, if someone goes through the trouble of asking me where I'm from, and I go through the trouble of answering "I'm from America, but my father is from Jordan and my mother is from the Philippines" how that translates into "I'm Jordanian."

Time and time again, after going through the usual "where are you really from?" spiel with friends they will later see me and say something that translates roughly into "Hey, Jordanian friend! Come over and teach us arabic! What's going on in your country today?" And I don't know how to respond. If you're going to be ignorant and racist, at least permit me both of my parents in the incorrect identity you shove me into.

I don't mean to complain, but it's everyone and it's really weird. I had a friend tell me I should take it personally that another friend didn't know about the Jordan attacks that occurred during fall '05. I take it personally whenever anyone doesn't care about people in the world, not just the country my father is from, because I'm a person in the world. It's not a difficult concept. In response to a joke I made about pretzals being part of jordanian-filipino culture, people keep referring to the "jordanian-pretzels" I make. It's like I'm crazy, and I don't really have all these filipino relatives.

I write this blog entry, because I honestly don't understand why people have to simplify and categorize each other, and why everyone seems to put me into the same category. There are a lot of options; Jordanian, Filipino, Arab-pino, American? Why is it so easy for everyone to remember that I'm Jordanian and so hard to remember that I'm actually Jordanian/Filipino-American?

People do this with everything. I'm constantly being told I'm a science person, when in fact I'm sitting here right now writing because I like to write. I majored in anthropology in college, and people who I have told this to always seem surprised when they find out again that I did in fact major in something other than a science. I would like to find one person who's pure-blooded and has only ONE interest in the world. I'm not complex, or anything special. My dad is from jordan and my mom is from the philippines, just like someone else's dad might be from California and their mom might be from Texas. Get it right people, it's not that hard.


justin said...

awww, this is such a typically tragic (or is it tragically typical) mixed person rant. hehe. i have to say, you should copyright the term arab-pinoy. i need a quick little sound byte like that to sum things up.

Ngan said...

hey big D,

come to think of it, i think i tend to associate u more with being filipino, but you're right, your look's middle-eastern. you're such an international mama.