Saturday, June 18

Where are you from?

via we heart it

Lately, this question has me confused. Where am I from? I've been ilving in Arizona for ten years, that makes me from here? 

Sometimes I think it depends on who's asking me the question. 

If a Chinese international student asks me this question, I need to answer America. I am American-born, after all. But if a white, black, latino, etc person asks me this question and I answer America, I get a look. I don't look American. Some recover quicker than others  (Where are your parents from?) and others more gracefully (No, like Korean, Japanese, Chinese?) but eventually they get the answer they're looking for. I'm Chinese. 

If I'm asked by a Chinese-American, I need to answer that I was born in Michigan, but I grew up in China for a few years. If I'm talking to a college aquaintence complaining about how hot Arizona is (ie, not Arizonian) I need to say that I lived in the North East for about 10 years too.

So, where are you from?


  1. It's relative to the person asking the question. If a Martian asked me, I would say Earth. If a duck asked me, I'd say my mother's womb. Hmm, maybe you always answer the broadest location-level that differentiates you from the other person.
    Oh, identity..

  2. Same with me my friend..I think I'm english..I speak it..born in England and raised here..but if someone gets UK as an answer from me.. They always ask "yeh but originally where are you from?" Too me..if you live there ..thats where you are from?! If someone asks me about my roots..then obviously thats another story!

  3. that all sounds known to me. I dont know where i am from. I know i have lithuanian, polish, latvian and Jewish blood in me. But i for one say i am polish latvian, but i am proud to be mixes from all of thos.
    Btw follow each other?? Following u allready!

  4. I totally understand that! I was born in Jamaica, grew up between NY, Bahamas, and Jamaica, moved to Texas for high school, and have been in California for the past 5 years. Usually people ask so many questions I just tell them all this so they won't ask anymore.

  5. I amjust mself. I heve no need to stick to any label. I am just a human being that loves the US but lives in Rome!
    That's it!!!

  6. thanks for droppin by my blog :)

    i'm from vancouver but i was born in the philippines. but a lot of people mistake me for a chinese/korean.. but i see nothing wrong with it. hehehe. totally cool. :)


  7. hmm. i usually tend to put it out to them that i'm from toronto but my parents are from china. i think it avoids the situation in which they question you again/rephrase what they actually meant to ask.

    it's kind of weird because i don't exactly think i am FROM china. yes, i'm chinese, but i was born in canada and have never set foot in china. my parents on the other hand, are FROM china.

    example. if i was in the u.s and an american asked me where i was from, i'd likely respond with 'canada' instead of 'china'.

    and oh yes! i did not even realize i had an orange-ish scarf! that was actually the first time i wore the scarf. it sat on a hanger for the longest time untouched, hahah!

  8. I love that image,

    I'm from England, and I've always lived here, and so have my parents and their parents, and their parents etc.

    So I guess I'm FROM here ;) haha

    Interesting post!

    ELIZA x

  9. loving your blog :) x

  10. well this question may not require a simple answer. you are who you are, not just defined by where you're from. so, you are all the places where you are from!

    Find me on:
    From Catwalk to Classroom.

  11. Hong Kong! But many people think that's in Japan, when it's in China ... :(
    Great blog girl! I followed you now - its so awesome

  12. Yes, this question is terribly hard to answer! And the answer changes with whom you are talking to. I grew up in FL but now I live in the Northeast but I was born in D.C....ahhh it get's crazy! Really cute picture, by the way. Makes me want to read all those childhood faves again.

  13. Gosh, I can totally relate to what you're saying. Well...I was born in the Philippines, so that makes me Filipino. I've lived in California since I was 4 years old, so I guess that makes me a Californian too. I live on the central coast of California, but it's considered a part of NorCal and in California your either from NorCal or SoCal. It's really weird. I don't know, beats me. Good question though! You got me thinking.

    Have a good one.

  14. great question. like the others, I can really relate too. I'm actually 1/4 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese and half Filipino. there are many Koreans in our city and I'm always mistaken as a Korean girl. They can't even believe that I grew up in Philippines and they're amazed when they hear me speak English or Filipino (cuz I'm fluent) this is crazy <3 great opinion. love your blog


  15. Great pic :D
    (I'm from Finland..)

    Jonna xx

  16. I think I'm quite boring since I can easily just say I'm from Southern California (specifically Los Angeles) since I've lived there all my life!


  17. oh.. so nice post.)
    Love your blog.))

    I now spend a survey of bloggers with such questions.
    1. Why did you create a blog?
    2. For whom you taking him? Want to be popular?
    3. How long will it keep going?

  18. Haha! This also plagued me for awhile and living in HK, a place where almost everyone is from another country if not more, you get used to answering. I simply answer: Canadian-born-Chinese :)

  19. I can understand the doubt that you're facing. But from my point of view, the person that you are shouldn't be only definied by the place(s) that you are from. Plus, I do think that you are extremely lucky because in the end you were able to have contact with two different cultures. That is exactly what makes you special! :)

  20. I don't think there's any one 'look' for an American. Americans come from all different places and can look anyway you can imagine. If you live here and consider this home, you're an American!

  21. Vietnamese but was born in France and still living there but my goal is california ! :)
    come visit paris ;)

  22. This is an interesting topic. I have a mix of heritages, but I've lived in the same locale my whole life.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I haven't seen the BBC Sherlock. I should check that out. Those short stories are such great reads!!

  23. Isn't that funny? I've lived in 20+ cities and I don't ever know if people are asking about where I'm from geographically or where I'm from ethnically. Both are loooong answers. :)


  24. Oh yes, this questions are thricky for everyone. I live in the city where I was born but most of people live here came form someplace else. So when I answer "I'm from Moscow" there is one more question: "how long?" when I answer for all of my live and most of my family lived there all of thier lives and I'm not sure if I even have someone in my roots who hadn't. I get the look. I feel easy about my nationality in Russia but when I get this question from foreiners I don't know what to say. I haven't met a foreiner who didn't think from Russia doesn't mean slavic.

  25. hi aki! haha thanks for your comment ! ! ! waiting for your next post

    Just did a new tag post .... check it out if you have time !

  26. Oh yeah I get this all the time. You're right it depends on who's asking the question. Most people that are immigrants or have an accent will ask me if I'm born here due to my accent (or lack there of) and if I do get the "where are your from?" I will answer where my parents are from and that I was born here.

  27. Such an interesting question and a difficult answer! My ancestry is from Wales, Sweden, and England.... & I have lived in 8 different cities, 4 states, and 2 countries! It's such an amazing concept when I meet someone who was born and raised in the same place with little knowledge of their ancestry. They seem to answer the question quite easily! :)


  28. This is a great post. It's funny how wrapped up Americans are in our ethnicity outside of just being American. My identity as a Jewish American is very important to me, and a lot of people don't understand that it's an ethnicity. (In fact, the religious part is not very important to me at all.) I love that as Americans we all have the place we're from and the ethnicity we are - usually two very separate entities.


Thanks for your comments!