Friday, March 11, 2011

Mixed (Up) Kid at Heritage Night

Heritage Night, a high school event where everyone proudly shows off their culture by cooking the customary foods, wearing traditional clothes in the fashion show, and singing and dancing their cultural songs.

I love experiencing each culture and watching people be excited to show off where they came from, but this night always leaves me feeling slightly empty. I have eleven ethnicities so you’d think I have a lot to show, right?

That’s not the case.

My friends expect me to be part of Heritage Night, always asking why I’m not. It’s because I am so many ethnicities that I have nothing to show off.

Because I have so many different backgrounds, I know little about any of them. I was never raised with a certain culture. I can’t make a traditional Italian food, I can’t sing or dance a single Cherokee song, and I don’t have any African clothing.

Out of all my races, I look mostly African-American, yet I know nothing about their background. As a result, no one ever asks me to be part of the African Dance that is featured each year. So I am even left out of that.

I understand why though. It’s because I never had any crazy Nigerian parties or Korean family reunions like my friends. I just grew up as me, a normal girl who has no claim to any specific culture.

Around this time of year I am always reminded of one thing; even though I have many different cultures, at the same time I have none. I’m a mixed girl with no real heritage to claim. I’m everything and so I am nothing.

By Cherish Hannah

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