There are just certain things you understand when you are biracial. Having two cultures be part of you can be both amazing and a struggle. I grew up in a whirlwind of conflicting cultures, being half European mutt and half Singaporean Indian. This meant that I had to be well versed in two very different cultures in order to interact with my family and social worlds. However, anyone who is biracial knows that being part of two different cultures makes for very entertaining (sometimes slightly awkward) moments...
1. You know what it feels like to be pulled between two different cultures.
For me, I became aware of this in middle school and part of high school. Being Indian was "not cool" and so I "became" white for a time, but that was so destructive and I wish I could get that time back. Embracing who you are, all of who you are, all your cultural heritage, is so important to fully become yourself. But there's always a stage where you say "pizza" if someone asks you what your favorite food is because you don't want to describe what "samosas" are for the five-hundredth time.
2. You know no one can tell what race you are from a first glance.
I have been asked if I was Mexican, Native American, Hawaiian, and some assume I'm just a really tan Caucasian. Very few can tell that I am half Indian, but that's just how it is. People sometimes will say, "Oh you look so exotic, what race are you?" Like, what does "exotic" even mean? What's even more fun is the experience of walking in a supermarket, or standing at a bus station, and having someone assume you are a certain race and speaking to you in that language. You stare blankly back, wondering if anyone will ever get it right.
3. You know what it's like to be seen with your parent that doesn't look like you.
"Oh! Who's that?" That's my dad. "No, he's white." Yes, I'm half Indian. It's always interesting going places with your parents because the outside world assumes that if you don't look alike, you aren't related. For my dad, it's probably like, "Oh is that your child? She has your nose." Because besides our noses, we don't look ANYTHING alike...sure...
4. You know what it's like to have no one relate to both cultures at the same time.
When you're with one set of friends or family, they relate to one side of you. You act a certain way around them and talk about certain things. Then when you are with the other set of friends, you act completely different. But it's worth it to see the look on peoples' faces when I tell them about 3-4 day long Indian weddings and all the good food we eat!
5. You know what it feels like to meet another biracial person and say, "You get it!"
Probably one of the best feelings in the world is finding that other person that is biracial and having a conversation that mainly consists of yelling, "Yes! You get me!" the whole time because they understand #thestruggleisreal.
There are so many struggles and hilarious circumstances that come with being biracial, but in the end, it is really a wonderful thing. I get to be part of two amazing cultures, experience things that I would never have thought about, and eat food that only the insiders know about (Yes, the food is one of the best parts about being biracial). I wouldn't trade it for the world!