━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Growing up mixed-race was hard and easy at the same time, with conflicting emotions and a sense of wonder of how I came from two different cultures.
Having a white mother, I always saw myself as white, but to others in school I was seen as a ‘curry muncher’ or a ‘terrorist’ for the colour of my skin. This wasn’t just certain individuals, it was a large number of students who did this.
I never shunned my Indian heritage on my father’s side of the family but I tried very hard to get away from this identity of being Indian and to feel more welcomed amongst my peers for being white. I never learned Punjabi, followed the Sikh religion and the only thing I liked about the culture was the food as well as the love from my family. I’ve never talked about my feeling of being mixed until I grew up, because in Indian culture men don’t talk about their feelings which is perceived as a weakness if someone does. This caused conflict within myself of how I should deal with the verbal abuse I got at school on a daily basis. To deal with the problem in school I kept my head down and waited for the abuse to stop or faked being ill, so I didn’t have to go in some days to avoid the abuse. This led me to have resentment towards my Indian heritage and constantly trying to justify why I belong in a predominantly white school, explaining my mother is white but no one ever listened or cared.
Now just graduating from university I look back at my experience of what I went through in school and how this has shaped me today. I’m now fully in touch with both my heritages but I feel like I have lost time for not paying attention to my Indian heritage. ────────────────────