Saturday, May 07, 2005

Questions of Origin

Here's a conversation Ethan and I had in the car yesterday:

"Mommy, if you grow up in Singapore, does that make you Singaporean?"

"Well, if your parents are Singaporean, then you are Singaporean."

"Mom, am I going to grow up in Singapore?"

"I don't know, honey. Maybe."

"Then will I be Singaporean?"

"No, you'll be an American who lives in Singapore."

"Where am I going to grow up?"

"I don't know. We'll just have to see where God calls us. Remember how you learned in Sunday School that God told Abraham to go to another country? Well, God asked us to go to Singapore. Who knows where He'll ask us to go next."

"Maybe He'll ask us to go to America next!"


"Yeah, I think He'll ask us to go to America."

To add to the confusion, Ethan now thinks that all countries are islands, and he still asks us frequently if he's Chinese American since he was born there. Now I think I know why they don't allow you to be president of the U.S. if you weren't born there. You're too confused about your origin to run a country!


Andy-boi said...

ahhh that's such an interesting conversation

tons of "racial reconciliation" talks and groups and discussions and junk went on on campus this year - so much that it got to be annoying. one of the main things i remember, though, is a letter to the editor that someone wrote to the school paper in response to someone else's letter. in it he said that we have to stop thinking of only whites as americans and everyone else as whatever nationality they came from generations back. the main idea, i think, was that you need to embrace your americanism as well as whatever race you are.

i think that you guys as missionaries and your kids as MK's gives you a bit of a different position - especially since you guys have the possibility of country hopping like you just did.

ok, this is getting to be pretty long, but i think it's an interesting discussion. i know a lot of international students and mk's at wheaton, and actually a lot of people thought that i was an mk since i guess a lot of my friends are asian.

still - i heard of one guy born in africa as an mk putting african american for his race on his wheaton application. maybe when the time comes you guys could do the same for ethan and megan, if the culture still reveres multiculturalism ^_~

Gina Marie said...

I think it's sad that most Americans don't know their country of origin. No one can really say, "I'm just American" aside from native Americans. It wasn't that many generations back for most people that their ancestors came from another country.