HuffPost Canada closed in 2021 and this site is maintained as an online archive. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact

children of immigrant parents

Five simple words some kids — and parents — don't hear often enough.
I grew up surrounded by friends and family members who looked like all of these races, but all I knew at three was that they were all Jamaican. When I'd visit from Canada and arrived at the airport in Kingston, Jamaica, we'd be picked up by my uncle who looked Chinese, go home to his kids who were mixed Chinese and black, get a visit from my cousin who was mostly white and then take a trip to see my dads side of the family who was pretty much all black.
By the time I hit middle school, I was bringing home more As than a family-sized box of Alphabet cereal. I was clueless when it came to drugs. I made curfew like my life depended on it. I respected my elders. By society's standards, I was a well-behaved kid. So how come I've never heard my parents say, "Son, we're proud of you"?
The question I've been asked consistently throughout my life is, "which side do you identify more with?" I hate this question. You are forcing me to choose between my Italian culture and my Filipino culture. It feels like you're asking me to decide between pasta and puncit. Between gelato and halo-halo. Between my mom and my dad.