11 minutes ago
British | Indian "My Mum originates from North India in the Punjab region and my Dad is a born and raised Jewish North Londoner. I don’t think I fully recognised myself as mixed-race until quite recently. I have a vague memory of when I was about 5 or 6, looking at family photos and wondering why my skin wasn’t White like the rest of my friends. But I have also spent my life being told I’m not mixed-race. To this day my Dad will disagree with me if I say I’m mixed-race and I tend to get a bit of an odd look from my friends if I refer to myself as mixed-race.
My parents didn’t combine their cultures. My Mum was the first of her 5 other siblings to marry outside of the Indian community, which resulted in her entire family cutting ties with her. As a consequence, our two families were kept very separate. Every Friday until the age of about 12/13 we were Jewish and had a typical ‘Friday Night Dinner’ until my Grandfather (Dad’s side) died. On Thursday’s my Mum, my sister and I were Indian as my Dad went to play football in the evenings. On these evenings my mum would cook ‘proper’ Indian food where we would sit on the floor and eat with our hands. We never really did this when our Dad was here because he didn’t like Indian food that much and used to just mix it all together.
My Mum is fluent in Punjabi but never taught me or my sister as she didn’t want my Dad to feel left out. I feel the only time this has had an effect on me is on the rare occasion we are with my Mum’s side of the family and everyone is communicating in Punjabi. I connect the most with my Indian culture naturally as I am closer to my Mum. I also think food plays a major role, it is the easiest way for me to feel a strong connection to my culture; something I can include in my daily life without fear of any judgement.
A positive of being mixed-race is that you can dip in and out of different cultures. I can relate to parts of English culture as well as Indian culture. For example, my White friends may struggle to connect to my fully Indian friends (and vice versa), whereas I don’t feel that massive contrast between the two cultures because I have both.” See full story on our website at Vigics