Chinese Peruvian, 100% Magician

Adam Won,
Sacramento, CA

This will represent deep healing for me, considering that I am both a Chinese Cantonese and have a grandmother with mostly indigenous Peruvian background with a recently discovered distant Italian/Spanish Basque background. I grew up with both cultures because my father is a Chinese Peruvian mestizo (he does look more Chinese than myself) and my mother is Chinese from Hong Kong. If you are looking at blood quatrains, I am 75% East Asian, 17% Amerindian, and 8% European. I never quite fit in because of my phenotype, and never being accepted as Chinese or Peruvian. Most people assume I am a Filipino or some kind Southeast Asian like Khmer, Thai, Indonesian, etc. Actually, what is mostly avoided especially growing up with my phenotype is colorism and classism within Asia. Chinese looking down their “poorer, darker, barbarian” cousins from other Asian countries, and me feeling ashamed of how I looked thinking I looked ugly. I had an experience in college in California, where a South Asian (Indian) ironically told me “I was ashamed to be a Filpino and that I was lying about ethnicity.” I never so pissed off in my life, that I could of smash his face in. It wasn’t because he assumed I was Filipino but it was because he said I was ashamed to be something that I don’t claim to be. Don’t let anyone tell you who are, I don’t care who they are.

I experienced more racism with other Chinese people, the culture I was most exposed to, than to other groups of people like whites, blacks, etc in America. I have lived in China for a year, and I do speak/read/write some Chinese. While living there to my surprise, I found out that intense regionalism and other Chinese from different provinces despising each other were rampant. Calling Cantonese people as “Malaysian monkey” is a past time with Northern Chinese, because they have on average darker skin than themselves. In the end, I realized I don’t have to part of any cultural/ethnic group and I can be fiercely independent despite my ancestry. Belonging is a mindset, nothing more. I don’t have to prove myself of being myself. This makes me an American, the mindset and not how someone looks like. Maybe I am a self-proclaimed Libertarian in the making!!!


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