31 Mar 2021

Let’s Talk About “Where Are You From?”

The people who ask this question are all the same. They think they’re asking because they see themselves as a curious individual. In their head, they’ve already got you pegged for where they think you’re from and it can’t possibly be from America! You’re not Caucasian so that’s just impossible because what year are we even living in? They wait on bated breath for your answer because once you say where, they’ve got the perfect response. Are you ready for it? They can say “hello” in that country’s language. Wow so cultured. They once met someone that is the same ethnicity as you. And they just looooooove the one dish that everyone knows your country is known for. “So do you like, make pho at home also?” “Oh my god, that’s so interesting.”

Meanwhile, I play this tired out scenario in my head. Do I give them what they want or do I challenge them and say that I was born and raised in North Seattle. Why is it that the latter answer is never good enough for them? The other thing that irks me about this question is that it always comes from someone that you don’t care about. They come from small interactions with people you only encounter briefly. Why ask a question that you know will go nowhere? That you don’t realize that I will try and get out of immediately. Obviously the people that ask lack social awareness – that’s not even a question, but why do they all have to be so god damn tacky? 

Chriselle Lim said this in a much more polite manner, which is that we know the people who are asking are well-intentioned 95% of the time. Unfortunately for you, our lives have been littered with this question asked by people who were not and because of that we shut off. We’re triggered and we don’t want to answer this anymore. I already have a plan for the next time it’s directed at me which is to pretend that I didn’t hear it. If that makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable, imagine how I feel.

Posted on March 31, in Life

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