Maybe I’m not French?

Cultural Identity Can Be a Difficult Thing

This topic is something that is very close to my heart. It’s difficult for me to talk about it, so I thought, why not write about it? I could write over a hundred pages about this, but I’m just gonna start off with this blogpost. Personally, I feel like this is a touchy subject, so please read with an open mind ❤

I have two passports. One is French, and the other one is Danish. My parents always told me that that was what I was. French and Danish, simple as that! However, when I started in school, things were not this simple. While my mom is indeed raised in France, she is actually adopted from Korea. So whenever I met other children, they would ask me: “Are you Chinese?”,”Are you adopted?”, “Do you speak Japanese?” and the list goes on. Even to this day, I can tell some people that I’m Danish and French and they simply won’t believe me. Instead they’ll reply: “No you’re not. You’re Asian, you can’t be Danish.” This is when things get really complicated.

Not French Enough?

Anyways, back to the French part. Growing up, I never learned how to speak French. However, I did grow up celebrating French traditions, eating French foods, watching French movies, listening to French music etc. But I was always extremely insecure because I couldn’t speak the language. I’ve never had a proper conversation with my grandparents let alone my cousins, uncles, aunts and so on. I was always told that I didn’t try hard enough. But I really did. I always had this expectation that I had to live up to being a Frenchman. I ended up being so insecure that I simply blocked the French language out of my life. The French language simply gave me anxiety, making me unable to learn it. I was embarassed and felt like a failure.

How I Tried To Solve This Problem

Last year, I slowly tried to change. I started at a new high school, and I wanted to have French as a subject. There are two different levels. The beginner’s class and the advanced class. I visited the advanced class to see what it was like. There were only two students, and the teacher “forced” me to take the advanced class since I was technically half French (maybe she just wanted to have more students lol). I wanted to learn French really badly, so I thought I’d give it a try. At school, I could learn French in peace. The expectations weren’t too high (not like how it felt whenever I was around my family in France). I felt like I could make mistakes, and it was okay. Of course I sucked at French compared to the two other students, but I just tried to soak in as much as I could during class. I learned A LOT. And I did it FAST.

Today, I can proudly say that I can write and speak French. Not like a native, obviously, but these days I actually speak French with my mom. She’s very proud of me, and so am I. I still have a few problems and feel insecure from time to time if I experience some kind of trigger. However, I’m in a much better position today than I was last year. I cannot thank my French teacher enough!

So What Am I Then?

Well, now that I can somewhat speak French, can I call myself a Frenchman? Honestly, I don’t think so. I will never really be 100% French. It’s just not me. Does that make me 100% Danish then? No. I’m just myself. Like a “Casserole Mix”, as one of my friends call it lol. I’ve been influenced by so many different cultures growing up, and I’m a mix of different ethnicities too. If I decide to live in France for 20 years, yeah, maybe I could call myself a Frenchman. But honestly, it’s up to myself. In my heart, I simply don’t feel French. All these years, I’ve grown up expecting myself to live up to being something that I’m actually not, which caused a lot of difficulties throughout my life. I might change in the future and find a more specific identity, but today, I will simply call myself a Casserole Mix haha xD.

So, what are you? Don’t hesitate to comment and let me know ^^

 

  • Emmy xxo
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5 thoughts on “Maybe I’m not French?

  1. elle says:

    Interesting post! I can relate in a lot of ways, as I am half Japanese, half white, born and raised in Canada. For most of my childhood I felt that it was a curse that I was better off without because of all the extra complications that no one around me had to face. But, now I’ve finally come to see that being a mix of different cultures is the best gift ever. With so much going on, there’s no way life can ever be boring haha 😀 Because I saw it as such a negative when I was younger, I never put in the effort to learn Japanese until very recently. I’m actually getting on a plane to move to Japan in a few hours…but I’m trying to de-stress with some last minute blogging! Good for you for learning French! The more cultures and languages we can have in our lives the better! It really does make everything more exciting and dynamic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lefoodninja says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! ❤ It's so true, being multicultural can truly be a blessing ^^ I wouldn't give it up for anything else. Good luck with everything in Japan, and have a safe trip! I wanna visit Japan so bad haha xD

      Like

  2. Throughmylens says:

    Oh I know the feeling, despite being from the same country, my parents speak two completely different languages and there’s always that feeling whether you’re 100% one or the other.. Luckily I can speak both but I totally see what you mean. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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