As a result of globalization, people of mixed race have become a growing demographic in the past few centuries. Along with the mixing of race inevitably comes the mixing of cultures, which can have endless positive and negative aspects in itself.
I grew up in a household of Vietnamese, American, Greek, Mexican, and Japanese cultures influencing me in areas like work, religion, food, and social standards. This eclectic mix was fun, but also perplexing at times, as I'd often get mixed advice in all areas of my life. Growing up in San Diego, I had many other friends who were also mixed and I found that we all had the same pros and cons in dealing with our mixed upbringings. Here are a few of the major ones:
Pro: Being able to identify with several cultures is honestly one of the most exciting aspects of being mixed. It's fun learning about our many backgrounds in a world history class, being able to cheer for several teams during the Olympics, and relating to a variety of cultural aspects.
Con: We don't exactly fit in with everyone, even the racial groups we were raised in. You're either the white one when you're with your Asian friends, or you're the Asian one when you're with your white friends. Even some family members may look down on you for not being 'full-blooded' like our other family members.
Pro: We're raised on enjoying at least two different and amazing cuisines, leaving us with a more diverse and developed palette growing up that we later use to brag about to our friends. "Oh you're just now discovering that you can put an egg and vegetables in your ramen? I've been doing that since I was six."
Not to mention we're all bound to be culinary stars as we get older, and we can thank the many cooking styles we're exposed to from different family members growing up for this skill.
Con: We've probably had at least one of our school lunches made fun of through out our lives. Heck, even my roommate still raises an eyebrow when she sees me heating up Japanese fermented soy beans and never fails to ask "What IS that?" Food can be a touchy subject for a lot of folks, so it's pretty common for us mixed kids finding ourselves defending what we eat.
Family Around the World
Pro: Having family around the world provides the perfect opportunity to travel and truly experience your culture first hand. There are absolutely no better hosts and tour guides than family members, (and hey, it's usually free).
Con: With relatives being so far away, it becomes harder and harder for you and your family to see them as often as you'd like. Work, school, and money restrictions become increasingly difficult to deal with as the years go by. Even economic and social problems like wars and economic downfalls in your family's countries are complications many of us have to consider before visiting them.
Although hard at times, I wouldn't give up being mixed for anything. It has truly helped me to become a more worldly and empathetic person, and I'm excited to see how it will continue to shape me from here.