I remember the day I moved to Canada. Wearing a purple velvet dress, I remember being at Gimpo Airport crying as I waved good-bye to my parents’ friends. Although a small child, as I stepped on to the airplane I knew that my life was going to be changing in a drastic way.
Twenty plus years have passed since that day. A lot has changed drastically. South Korea is no longer an unfamiliar and underdeveloped country that I had left. It is known for its highly advanced technology, K-POP, and the international airport is no longer the Gimpo Airport but in Incheon, which consistently ranks as one of the best airports in the world. I grew up in Vancouver, Canada and fully embraced my nationality as a Canadian. I cheer for Canada during hockey games and proudly show off my maple leaf when I travel. However, I have also retained my Korean heritage. I value Korea’s customs and history, I follow Korea’s current events and pop culture, and get emotional when South Korea plays during the World Cup. And then I have traits that I feel are specific to my Korean-Canadian identity. I grew up wanting to please my parents, I am much more careful around other Koreans, and I am the most fluent in Konglish. As I got older I wondered how much of my identity was based on being a Korean, a Canadian, and a Korean-Canadian. I also wondered if other Korean-Canadians had similar experiences as me or if these traits were uniquely mine.
In my blog series, feat. a Korean-Canadian, I will be addressing the topic of identity. This blog series will feature Korean-Canadians in their twenties and thirties and they will share their thoughts on their identity as a Korean-Canadian. I hope to find out about the experiences and perspectives of other Korean-Canadians and encourage you to leave comments about your thoughts on having a hyphenated identity.