Raising a Bi-Racial Child
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
My husband is German and our son was born in Canada.
After many mistakes, I realized that I should let our son choose his identity.
People of multi-racial origins can identify in many different ways and develop self-perception depending on many factors like how they look, which culture they have been most exposed to, which family they feel closer to, where they are in their lives, which communities they are most comfortable with, and so on.
I have long realized that my son rejecting the label of “Filipino” or not liking Filipino food does not mean he is rejecting me or Filipino culture at all. I recognize that he must make his own journey into affirming his own lived experiences, choices, and aspirations towards defining himself. Location and language became two strong identity determinants in my son’s case. While he acknowledges that his ancestry is linked to Germany and the Philippines, my son said he does not feel part-German or part-Filipino. He said he is “just Canadian.” He has chosen his identity and it is Canadian. There is something in Canada officially supporting immigration and multi-culturalism that made this possible for my son. The way my son will think of his identity, history, and heritage may still shift over the years – but I believe that his grasp of the nuances of culture coming from our multi-racial family and having lived in a diverse environment in Edmonton will give him the confidence to rise above labels that people may fix on him.