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Op-Ed: My Multicultural Identity

By: Brielle Chandra



Growing up as a multiethnic, multicultural individual presented a unique set of challenges that many of my peers could not recognize. I’m Sicilian, Filipino, and Indian with broad Mediterranean and Asian ancestry. As a child, I often felt a sense of guilt when asked where I was from. I didn’t believe I could rightfully claim any of my ethnicities because I was not “fully” from anywhere. The concept of blood quantum and percentages split me into thirds, quarters, fifths, and sixths. I longed for a sense of cultural belonging.


Considering my experience with being mixed, I’ve noticed ethnic percentages are a highly valued quantity. Instead of being seen as an individual with a unique heritage, I felt as though many viewed me as simply bits and pieces. However, one's identity and culture are not categorized strictly by supposed percentages. Despite facing unusual challenges, I have grown to embrace being multicultural. Various aspects of Sicilian, Filipino, and Indian culture are all rooted in my everyday life. Once a year, my Mother and I cook a Sicilian family recipe that has been passed down many generations. Recently, I’ve been learning Ilonggo to communicate better with my Filipino relatives. Additionally, I’m looking forward to Holi, a Hindu, South Asian festival that will take place in early March. Through these worthwhile gestures, I form a closer relationship with my cultures and ancestry.


I believe being mixed can be an incredible opportunity. It is a beautiful experience to have multiple nations be your homeland. Everyone on earth has a culture, and everyone should be allowed and encouraged to form a connection with their heritage.

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By creating The Color of Us, my goal is to foster connection, increase opportunities and evoke conversations that raise awareness about the experience of multiracial and multicultural youth in our society. Learn more by checking out the about page!

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