“My mom’s Chinese and my dad’s Korean. So when I was in Korea, I was unconsciously exposed to the difference between cultures. Korea’s one nationality, so when I tell people about my mum being Chinese they get so shocked.

The problem for me when I came to Canada for the first time is I couldn’t speak English, and it made my life so much harder. I like talking to people, I just couldn’t communicate with them. I couldn’t really express [myself] in my usual way. There were nice people who understood what it felt like to not be able to speak English. We still talk about how at the beginning I couldn’t speak English and I was so stressed.

When people meet someone from one culture, they assume how they are. But when I tell people my mom is Chinese they can’t assume things. Even though I don’t have much in Chinese, I still say it so I can break those assumptions. If I say I’m from Korea, people are like “You know K-Pop!”.

I work at Starbucks, so recently a lot of people really recognize Korea because K-Pop became big. People already know looking at my makeup and my facial features [that I’m Korean]. They’ll say ‘thank you’ in Korean and then leave. Also, when I came to Canada for the first time, there weren’t really Korean restaurants that were really good. Now, I go to a restaurant in Vancouver, basically, all the places are pretty good because a lot of things have improved. Now it’s so common, it’s making my life easier!”