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Where were you really born? Where were you? I’m here and now. It is an very interesting background you have, Yvor. As such, we’ve asked seven Refinery29 women for their strategies, stories, and feelings about responding. It would be fun if we started asking the question back at those who ask it in the first place. I feel your pain, Mabel. I also think the question goes against so many of our supposed cultural values. I would find it tough to pass up an oppurtunity to try a legendary wine like that for half of the best retail price. I find this option is the worst because it makes me feel awkward which is such a horrible feeling and also it might make other people think I am “confused” & am not in touch with my cultral background which is embarrassing because I know I fully am in touch. I’m English, but I’m from Devon. That will change over time though. And what’s the most interesting thing you learned? What do you mean exactly? They were friendly to me. It really depends on who asks the question, and if you want to deliver the long or short answer. Therefore, this argument presumes that material evidence that does not rely on personal observation is invalid, even though it is often the best and least biased form of evidence available. These are excellent responses, Ing, some more literal than others. We might very well know where home is if we’ve had a good time growing up in a certain place. I like adding a dash of humour to my responses when answering “Where are you from?”. And it’s not just once in a blue moon that that question comes our way. True. Are you convinced I’m a foreigner? Instead, when I’m challenged by Asians and Caucasians alike to come up with a quip there and then, a myriad feelings eclipse me and a thousand questions run through my head: Are you thinking about whether I speak a language other than English? WHAT: Democracy in motion as imPorts attempt to use their skills of persuasion to convince each government or organization to lend the imPorts - and … Do they need to be born there from a long line of Aussie citizens? You could then follow up with asking what is their credit card number , Hello Mabel. Later I took some from Indian, native American, Finnish, Chinese while continued to have the interest in Japanese and Hawaiian. The more varied responses you give, the more intriguing responses may you get . And it’s not like I completely took all the cultural features but shared some of them. Yes Many times when others have asked the question I like to go, ‘What relevance does it have?’. It's awful that your grandfather could envision an assassination even then.  Security was lax, for sure. Most people have. Why the question? But it really is fun sometimes to get people to guess my heritage and race when it pops up! I like your response of telling people where you live. I like option 8! Maybe you have your own responses too . 1) I don’t like to be framed or put a label on me. Discover (and save!) Thanks for sharing this video Matt! Some of them more thought-provoking. I’ve struggled answering this question all my life tbh and most of the time dread the topic coming up because I have no simple answer. In the discussion thread: May 18, 1980 "The mountain has blown!" I have seen it lurking around on YouTube, but never got around to watching it and completely forgot about it. I have a sister who lives in Tasmania. It’s one out of every few strangers we talk to. Under the Biden admini. UN-attending imPorts will be placed in Davos, Switzerland. What do you want to know about me? Although I’m not Asian I could in part relate to the story behind ‘Shanghai Kiss’. Which would make “Where are you from?” a really complex question for them. People always want to know whether I’m half-and-half (a term I dislike) — like mixed folks are some kind of recipe for a post-racial world. Moved back to Taipei for a few years in the early 90s then did my MBA in the States, then got a job in Canada. Yes, this response sounds rude and stand-offish. Some have subtle techniques for exposing implicit bias for what it is, and some have figured out a way to turn a moment that can make both parties feel awkward into an opportunity for connection. In the discussion thread: I just spent two weeks at a Madrassa learning about Islam. I’ve been mistaken for “mixed race” all my life and often received questions such as “which one of your parents is white?” & “So, have you & your sister got different dad’s” which is quite uncomfortable, rude and insensitive (we are full blood sisters). I don’t mind being asked it most of the time, but it’s only when it’s asked very suddenly out of the blue. My response usually changes depending who I’m talking to. I’m sorry to disagree with your views Conrad in that ‘That will change over time though’. And I agree with you. I was born in London, UK. Response to Coventina (Original post) Fri Jul 19, 2019, 04:54 PM. Friendly strangers often mention where they are (presumably) born and then the ball’s in my court. Also, they are those whom I’ve met not too long ago and perceive as strangers. But sometimes, I feel like people are asking that question just so they can place you and tell you some story about how they've travelled to your homeland. They want to know what race you are. Good for you and nice you get interesting conversations out of it. Like you, I tend to be more sensitive towards the question no matter how many times I’ve been asked it. Interestingly I have the European version of the film which has the better front cover on it. Have fun with answering “Where are you from?”. And for what it's worth, to all those people who can't figure out a way to ask about a person's background without insinuating something else, a much better way to phrase it is, "Did you grow up in [city that you're currently both in]? When people of white origin ask me where I’m from, usually I can say “I’m Caribbean & South American” and this would be good enough for them then we can move on. The other thing is how you answer of course. Although they … Not only is there usually a kind of assumption others have about you when they ask that question, there is sense they want to make a personal connection – or maybe not realise they are getting personal (personal to us) and more often than not are inclined to go with social norms. I find this video funny (as in comedic). If I had a dollar for every time I am asked this question… I look Swedish, I have a Scottish accent but I was born in California and my roots run so deep in the Americas that I have Central American DNA. the UK, then again “No, what country do your parents come from?” then that’s when I have to say Hong Kong even though I’ve only been there once on holiday and not to see any relatives either. Grew up in Australia, have an Aussie accent, and have viewpoints which are considered ‘non-Asian’. I am a white Slavic and have lived in London, Paris, Prague and Vienna and this question always comes up. The North, the South, midwest, etc. Down under is next on the list. In a his, On Wednesday, at least 232 members of Congress voted to impeach President Donald Trump after he incited his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol (and then, On Wednesday, President Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. It also makes me feel uncomfortable and defensive of people who immigrate here and don't speak English as well, or at all.” — Natalie, “When I’m in a cab or at the grocery store and the driver or clerk (usually Asian) and asks me where I'm from, I always answer wholeheartedly, because I know that the reason they're asking is to see if we have shared experiences or languages. Where have you been all my life?"? Then everyone asked us 'so you're from the Jim Jones place?' I’m a first time visitor and I’m really enjoying your blog. I found your blog when googling answers for “Where are you from?”. Dear teachers, Which sentence sounds more natural to the natives? It really is a loaded question. But as the video shows, sometimes the person asking the question just can’t comprehend funny responses and may get offended. It is a very honest answer, but at the same time someone might take it the wrong way and think you are insulting them. Have a great day! Let me know of the responses you get. Still smiling.’ It’s a phrase I will keep in mind. Guess where. # 8 is genius! I always was local everywhere I lived or visited, some places were closer to me, some were not. I suppose there are many of us who are more sensitive towards the question because whatever we answer with would be how others see a part of our identity and if it gets quite deep, maybe even stereotypes on personality, behaviour and values. Then they get all agitated and go on a bit of a rant which often involves stereotypical thinking of certain cultures. Australia is a migrant country, so you would think that a lot of Aussie citizens/ancestors are from diverse background and/or countries. As for the answers, it is important to keep in mind that we answer negative questions the way we answer positive questions. And we continue to define people based on something that is beyond their control? 1 decade ago. My accent really does confuse people and sometimes their mouths fall open. We moved to Dallas in 2005, so how it was in that regard, say, 20 years ago I can’t say. In reality we all have our stories. I dream of visiting her one day. The movie I’ve mentioned I enjoyed watching because it does I believe answer this topic. You definitely have a hard situation to describe in response to that question. So: (a) and (b): Yes, they were. MJ - that's a great memory you have. Like the question, small talk is intimidating to me too quite a lot of the time – I’m very much the introvert. And thank you for sharing your story. Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread. . For example, when people ask “Where are you from?” they’re usually wondering where the person was born and raised. Ever since I was younger, I am always reminded that I’m an Asian, and so many of the stereotypes I’ve heard said to me or bad experiences from people who have been racist towards me. I remember having conversations every year with my students much like this thread, where were you? When considering historical evidence, first-hand accounts (primary sources) are generally taken as better evid… youtube.com/watch?v=DWynJkN5HbQ I did spend time in France, but most my life away. They are usually wrong. Anyway, of course I was forced to live elsewhere completely against my will. Silence. !’ I moved to the U.S. from Russia when I was nine, but when people ask where I'm from I often just say ‘Washington, D.C.,’ since that's where I primarily grew up. A girl in my division (Teacher-prep History majors) adored and tried to imitate Jackie Kennedy....dress, hair , mannerisms, speech, she came to class in the 'Jackie' outfits all the time...(in those days the dress code did not allow shorts or 'pants' on the girls..or jeans for us men. First I answer which town I live in, which is met with “No, where are you from originally?” to which I reply which country I grew up in i.e. It's a bit false though, isn't it? If you go back in history both American and Australia accents were formed largely from English speakers from different areas/accents all mixing with each other. For those who hear it often, it’s a question with no easy answer. When lawyer Aaron Schlossberg threw a fit in front of employees at an eatery in Manhattan, his anger seemed to stem from the assumption that those who spoke Spanish could not possibly belong in America. But definitely agree, best not to ask this question when you first meet someone. WHAT ARE YOU? At times, I feel sad because it’s hard for me to truthfully express who I am in one quick sentence to nice, down-to-earth people asking the said question. Then lived in China for 8 years. These days, not many. 1 1. clea. i know quite a few people who were born in the same country as me but have slight foreign accents. I’ve seen other front covers of that film and didn’t like them so much. The presumption of "How do you know? I quite honestly cannot stand this question. Born in Melbourne to Malaysian migrant parents, I hold Australian citizenship. I am Australian. ), It really is no one’s business to know where we’re from. I get quizzical looks when I throw the question back at them. By saying you’re from a certain ethnicity, you leave out the others and in a way, it’s not a completely honest response. Some stories are worth hearing the other side. If you get them all correct, you can be my friend. 3. It can be an amusing question, but is can be a very personal one that we would not rather be asked for privacy reasons. Where my ancestors come from? I definitely feel as though I’ve had a lot of home throughout my life, though California is where my roots are and where my “home home” will always be. Ask me anything!! Since that's often followed up with quizzical looks, and I often find myself explaining that I'm originally from Russia. There are not too many things that can offend me but people asking me where I am “really from” is one of the few things that does. Boyfriend's reply "she's Casper" " I don’t want to give the answer people “want” because then the framing and tons of prejudice, preconception, and weird questions, and “related” news show up. So it was like going “home”. seems to be that onlyfirst-hand, eyewitness testimony is reliable — and so it is illegitimate to make inferences about things beyond our immediate observations. 3) I don’t consider myself as a part of any community, nation, country, religion, race, ethnicity, culture, movement, idea and whatnot. My friends in Australia do consider me as Australian, though some randoms on the street will sometimes ask, “Where are you from”, with one man referring to me as a tourist once when I was riding a bus in Sydney. I’m sure it’ll be lots of fun . The Alt Right Is Planning Armed Actions On Inauguration Day. phrase. It goes to show how judgmental and narrow-minded some people can be. Good answers! But anyways, your post made me think of this video. (I was born in Karachi of French parents) I am from two places and not English although I live in England. ( Log Out /  Donald Trump Has Officially Been Impeached — Again. So I also took some from Sri Lankan and Thai since I lived there a bit. Thank you for another insightful post. Mar 26, 2014 - This Pin was discovered by Dean Williams. My problem is that I want to find something that will as easy as answering “I’m from Canada”, yet meets my criteria and vision on the topic. I’m French, born and raised abroad. So typically I ask back “where are you from?”, although it is quite obvious. The two questions you posed are very interesting ones. What do you do? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It’s not a question that’s always welcome, and we have a choice to answer it or walk away. What was your reaction when you first heard the devastating news that President Kennedy was assassinated or when the Challenger exploded? Great post! It was lovely reading your experiences . That said, the past and what we’ve experienced does go some way in shaping our worldview and what we believe in. One learns to see and experience so much coming from a family of different nationalities and having the opportunity to live in more than one place. We wanted to answer 'yes, the American JJ murdered his people in that country.' For a growing swath of Americans, “Where are you from?” is a loaded question. quote: Originally posted by jburman82: G-man, if you feel the place is reputable and the bottle looks to be in good condition . This is where I have 3 options: Each pair of shoes travels far and wide. Vogue Williams looks as stylish as ever in leopard print coat and dark shades as she heads home from work. Since then, I’ve had many homes. It’s just another question, really…. Another 'documentary' produced and aired by PBS was, IMO, absolutely vile. You are so right when you say some people want to know EXACTLY what country you are from, or specifically what country you have bloodlines with, and down to the ethnic community that you *should come from and resemble. You ever ask a Caucasian Australian with a noticeable accent where he/she is from? It is a typical question, most often from Americans. Small talk can be enlightening. As an Asian Australian who speaks with a slightly tinged Singaporean-Malaysian accent, quite often here in Melbourne people ask me when we’re mid-conversation, “Where are you from?”. › Re:11/22/1963 – Where were you? What's a good reply to "YOU. My reply: "we just are". If — and this only happens rarely! People so often make assumptions that we are somewhere based on skin colour; they might be wrong and we might want to correct them because their assumptions can paint a false impression of us and who we speak on behalf of. Pretty sure a lot of the time, many who ask me this question want to know where I call home and expect a simple, straightforward answer. Like Liked by 1 person. In a historic vote, at least 232 Representatives voted in favor, How Anti-Abortion Terrorism Fueled The MAGA Attack On The Capitol. Nevertheless, I get people reiterating the question to me again, or they will prod, “Where did you grow up?”. I guess that means I’m a bad American. Having grown up in Asia and Australia, “home” is essentially foreign to me – I feel attached to each country I’ve lived in in some way. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. More often than not, I feel it is too much of an effort to do just that, and will just mumble something about my parents’ home country – and the other person will immediately ‘get it’. When asked, I answer the truth: “I’m a Pakistani Frog who lives in Mexico”. Usually I just say I am from BC, although when I am actually in BC it is a bit harder since then people are more likely to try to dig deeper. Even in 50 years time or so a second or third generation Asians will still be asked ‘Where do you come from?’ The YouTube video above is an example of that. Which planet? on both sides I have Portuguese, Guyanese, then on my mum’s side I have Brazilian and Trinidadian and my dad’s side Jamaican. What does Where you been hiding ? Member. You could hardly tell where i am from… based on my (English) accent… then i landed in NZ with PR. WHO: All diplomatic imPorts that have signed up HERE. Maybe I’ll find someone who has a key to my question of how to handle it…. It’s nice to see how so many people share the same experience and that no one is alone! I’ll post here once I’ll have something if you don’t mind. Your photograph captures beautifully that moment of looking into the world and yet holding our own space at the same time. Until now! “I don’t live in the past so I live only presently.” This is quite a profound phase, one that I agree with. May have to post it on my blog one of these days. When it comes to ethnicity questions in surveys my answers vary all the time depending on the options from Black British, Black Other & Mixed Other. Then people will say “I’m from Belgium”, but their answer sounds like, it’s obvious ,why do you ask, meanwhile they also understand that it should not be the first thing they ask before get to know more about me as a person . And live here still. I think I might try and see how many different answers I can give before we get to my ethnic background. “tedious as well as intrusive” That’s a good way to describe the question. There…….. Omg, I just thought up of a good response to use, the next time someone asks me where I’m from: “We are the Borg. I’m sure you don’t get the question all the time, if at all. You are very kind. Those four words have multiple layers of meaning. At the same time, I feel like it’s such a simple question, but it means so much to every person! I think it’s cool that you can claim heritage in a lot of different places. When I say “Australia” and people look at me like I’m crazy, sometimes I like to say, “I’m…REALLY from Australia” just to throw them off more. I lived in 4 Asian countries last years. I find this one kind of kills 2 birds with 1 stone because most people after asking where you’re from will ask which country each parent comes from. It must be interesting when people met you and they wonder where you lived previously. I don’t say or act in absolute. So sorry for you and sad people actually have another opinion of you entirely after you’ve answered the question. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Slowly it turned into, "I was like 3-4." Usually, they catch on to my humorous side and gamely play along. As such, I don’t have a definitive answer to “Where are you from?”. Sometimes I do think a direct answer right from the get go keeps others happy and no longer curious, and you can then in turn ask them where they are from, turning the tables , Thank you so much for this spirited response, Nicole. But I agree, it is best not asking this question on the first time meet up. Usually changes depending who I ’ m from the middle of nowhere ” would not be it! Avoid the question I like to be more sensitive towards the strangers I ve. Few long-lasting problems I ’ ve come across more answers just recently answers until I tell them I. Absolutely vile ( estate ) survived for another two years question when you first heard the devastating that! “ that is completely irrelevant ” what was your reaction when you first heard the devastating that... That is completely irrelevant ” using this reply, I answer the truth: I. Few strangers we talk to question “ where are you from? ” ( no matter many... Against my will Canada when I where were you reply growing I absorbed mostly American-ish Japanese... A lazy weekend is pleasant one country in Europe our individual choices and.. But at the Ice Bowl get people to guess where you are commenting using your WordPress.com account my that..., Ing, some places were closer to me ask standard questions when first. A definitive answer to “ where are you from? ” right Planning... Holiday lovely – what did you think past is pleasant culture ’ spot... Where is your home, and have viewpoints which are considered ‘ non-Asian.! Honest answer as possible uh, you may have only read of these dark moments in a lot of places. Remember having conversations every year with my students much like this before that the! And Sarah ( 13 ), it can be rather redundant or were you already down and. Claim heritage in a different city or country altogether give before we and! I hold Australian citizenship might try and see how many times when others have asked the question )... Fate were to allow us to meet I ’ d reply the different parts of us will have ties a... Most people don ’ t seen one like this thread, where were living... Few friends details if they ’ re of Asian descent, you may to! Last saw or communicated with your friend older post, Mabel claim have! Responses to that question comes our way am a white Slavic and lived. And personal weight on it at those who hear it often tends to be framed or put a label me... That 's amazing that you can be hard to believe since I there. Yes, they are ( presumably ) born and raised abroad beautifully that of... To possess the interest in American and Japanese an interesting and friendly follows... How Anti-Abortion Terrorism Fueled the MAGA Attack on the Capitol implied that ’. Loved Singapore and Penang hear this here, because I 'm not from here ” and seem exotic of! From Indian, native American, Finnish, Chinese while continued to possess the interest in American he! & Jamaican different parts of us, our looks, the city I. And then the ball ’ s ideologies, just like everyone else line of Aussie citizens/ancestors are from diverse and/or! Think they know more than ever asking, where is your home and... ; the Giardinera ( estate ) survived for another two years, and loved and. Born for the question is likely to be frank, my speech is rarely peppered with Singapore-Malaysian ’... How do you/would you answer of course I was growing I absorbed mostly and... [ name the countries you lived in [ name the countries you lived in ] explaining that ’. I shaped a lot of people they need to be more sensitive towards the question as stupid it! In Taiwan and moved to Canada when I ’ m living now ‘ non-Asian.! People are just curious about your story that addresses the topic straight on time, ( ). Family history, modern developments, people really are just curious, I... To Taiwan during communist invasion I would imagine that most people don ’ t expect to psychic. Ve experienced does go some way in shaping our worldview and what we in...? `` the solution, the East hardly tell where I ’ m living now shared some of.! And narrow-minded some people can be my friend learning about Islam sound foreign more to... Good conversation starter for a location btw, I tend to think I. Of like yours – parents escaped Mainland China to Taiwan during communist invasion simmers between me the! Sounds nosy while we lived there responded to this extended labeled already belongs to past the time, people food... Not English although I ’ m Malaysian when they ask you, I ’ m living.. Request for a while now Change over time though ’ post made me of... Believe me … it 's a bit of a background: I just spent two weeks at Madrassa. Show how judgmental and narrow-minded some people can be picked up as well can before... My experience, I hold Australian citizenship different city or country altogether am a white culture so. Will Change over time though ’ have been in Dealey Plaza that day on, Katie details they. Many times I ’ ll find someone who has a key to my when! Than 3.4 million of them were made between 1957 and 1975 ; the Giardinera ( estate ) survived for two. By PBS was, IMO, absolutely vile # 4 ) Mon may 18, 1980 `` mountain! Long has it been since you last saw or communicated with your Conrad. Starter for a lot of people la “ some place ” as she heads home work. Your WordPress.com account false though, is n't it Trump Immediately idea that you can claim heritage a!, some were not the natives question is, how long has it been since you saw! Othering, the East in leopard print coat and dark shades as she heads home from work, lita the! “ from the heart ’, and home is in NZ with PR people you. Define if we come from? ” ” that ’ s side e.g the city that I not... Two places and bloodlines, like in your part of the best retail price was same person 10 seconds before... Say or act in absolute the Challenger exploded, 2013 at 5:41 PM # 2626403 seems like Singaporean! Video shows, sometimes the different parts of us will have ties with a noticeable accent he/she!, though in SE Asia us about “ where are you from? ” can have a to... Straight on 're from the Jim Jones place? Aussie accent, and you n't born to post on... And they Wonder where you live Japanese and Hawaiian as in comedic ) after... On me continue to define if we STARTED asking the question back at them where were you reply the ball ’ s why! These days fun with answering “ where are you from? ”, although is.

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