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31 Things All Half-Asians Know To Be True

Don't worry, be hapa!

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NOTE: The word hapa comes from the Native Hawaiian term "hapa-haole" or someone who is part Native Hawaiian and part foreigner. But the word has been co-opted over time to signify a person who is half or part asian.

1. You have been asked a million times, “What’s your mix?”

2. Everyone’s favorite game to play with you is “guess what you are.”

3. You’re a racial Rorschach test: Depending on where you are, people assume you must be Latino, or Italian, or Native American, or Middle Eastern...

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4. You have an Asian and non-Asian name.

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5. People think your parents aren't your parents, or even that you're adopted.

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6. Chances are good that you’re much taller than half of your family.

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7. You and your siblings don’t always agree about which race each of you more closely identifies with.

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8. Whether or not you inherit “Asian glow” is a real crap shoot.

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9. Sometimes you look at one or both of your parents and don’t see yourself in them at all.

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10. People assume your Asian parent is your nanny (especially if it's your mom).

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11. And people tend to assume your mother is the Asian parent because of you know, "yellow fever."

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12. It still blows your mind that in some places your parents' marriage would have been illegal within their lifetime.

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13. You light up when you find out an actor is a hapa too and you follow them from then to forever.

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14. But whenever someone says, “You know who you look like?”, you know it is going to be one of two hapa celebrities even though you look NOTHING like them.

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15. Big Hero 6 is your kind of Disney movie and San Fransokyo is your kind of town!

16. You’ve been shipped to your Asian parent’s home country to brush up your language skills.

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17. Sometimes you get dual citizenship!

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18. You get used to being a novelty wherever you go.

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19. At times you’ve felt like you weren’t Asian enough (and vice versa).

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20. Sometimes you feel like you have to identify with only one race or the other.

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21. And you’re not sure what to do when you can only check one box for "Race.”

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22. But you didn’t check "Asian" on your college admission form, because you were worried that would make it harder to get in.

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23. When you are dating another Asian or hapa you wonder if you are “sticky rice” or a “rice queen.”

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24. You can change the race others identify you as just by changing your hairstyle!

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25. You get to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Moon Festival, Christmas, New Year’s and Lunar New Year — fall and winter are the best!

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26. Your two sets of grandparents are so different they have nothing to say to each other.

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27. You have had a meal like stroganoff on rice on a regular basis.

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28. Growing up, your fridge could contain at any given time: jook and lasagna, shoyu chicken and corned beef, tamales and samosas.

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29. You’re tired of hearing that mixed babies are the cutest or the most beautiful—even though it's true. ;)

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30. The more you look around these days, the more you see other hapas — and that’s pretty damn great.

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31. You are free to pick the best of your backgrounds and make your life what YOU want it to be!

This post has been updated to include a note on our usage of the term hapa.

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