The doctor who took my blood for testing, for our marriage license application, said to me, “Your children will be so beautiful! I really hope that I will live long enough to see the greying of the races!” This was 1986, and I had just mentioned that my husband to be was Chinese, I had met him a few months passed during a trip to Hong Kong. I’ve never forgotten that term, greying.
I’ve actually said myself, jokingly, that I didn’t even realize that my husband was Chinese, until his whole entire family showed up for the birth of our first child. Hubby explained that our baby didn’t just belong to us, but was an important, next-generation part of the extended family. That in his culture, (I as daughter-in-law), must take a bit of a step to the side (if not to the back), to allow his mother and the other aunties full access to hold and bond with our daughter.
Despite all of this, throughout our many years together, (and the addition of a son to the family), I have tried hard to raise our children as NOT “mixed-race”. I just don’t see it. I only see them as my kids, not as my half-Chinese kids. I feel strongly that labels like these are a part of the racism and segregation problem. In my thinking, we’re all people, regardless of colour or culture.
Raising the family, as we moved from our Vancouver, BC, home to Singapore, was always about who they and we are as a family unit, not about how we stand out as mixed.
In my thinking, it was important to instill pride in self, and family, not culture. Sure, we celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, and mooncakes. But, the one thing I have always stressed to our “third culture/mixed-race” (more labels…not sure how I feel about that), kids is that yes, they are different, but everyone in this world is different.