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