CHAPTER SIX

WHERE ARE YOU FROM—REALLY?

Observable Differences and Developing a Multicultural Mind

Where are you from? seems like a simple question. And, for many people with physical characteristics that are typical of a particular geography, it is! But multiculturals often have racial or ethnic backgrounds that don’t match their cultural identity.1 They look “different,” and this confuses people. They are difficult to categorize! The following comments from people of mixed race are typical:

Keko, a mixed race student, had grown weary of her middle school classmates asking her how much Japanese ancestry she had. So when asked, she had systematically responded, “one-third.” It amused her that her less mathematically sophisticated classmates often ...

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