Have you ever wondered about your ancestors? Wondered what stories they would have to tell? Wondered what trials and tribulations they’ve endured? Wondered what they have excelled at?
More and more people are using ancestry websites to find out about their family, and every single one of my friends who has started researching their family background has uncovered a family secret! So I often wonder … Am I related to someone of importance? An inventor? A member of the Royal Family? Or am I related to a serial killer or famous fraudster?
A couple of years ago, my sister discovered that we are part Southeast Asian. It came as a complete surprise to me – I was born with blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin. We were trying to discover whether we had German or Scandinavian routes and discovered we have Southeast Asian routes!
What is ridiculous is that we never worked it out before. Our mum always complained when her photo was taken that smiling caused her eyes to narrow. She had dark skin, dark hair and was fairly small yet very athletic and flexible – all stereotypes of Southeast Asian women. It’s strange how you don’t really look at someone you see every day. She was just Mum.
Then we dug out a photo of her dad. A picture we’d seen many times before. He was little, with dark skin and similar shaped eyes.
My friend has already researched her family and was intrigued so she researched ours. The probable strand that came from Southeast Asia stopped in Ireland so she continued along my maternal grandfather’s mother’s path and ended up in 1708 in Orkney. Not only have I “out-northerned” all my friends (something to be very proud of when you’re a Northerner), but this means we almost definitely descended from Vikings!
I had already suspected the Viking strand for a long time, because I can’t eat ice-cream without getting a headache. I had read somewhere that Vikings have a thinner palate and therefore are more susceptible to brain freeze. Also my colouring suggested I may have descended from Vikings.
It gets more interesting, because my blood group is A rhesus negative. Apparently, according to the internet (so it must be true) A- blood combined with blue eyes means I am probably descended from Aliens!
So here I am, part Southeast Asian, part Viking, part Alien and part probably many other races too!
So when I hear the racists’ battle cry “go back to your own country”, which country shall I go to? I don’t yet know which part of Southeast Asia my Southeast Asian ancestor came from, but we have deduced s/he stopped off at Ireland on the way to England so shall I go there? The ancestors from Orkney and Shetland were settled there for several generations, shall I go there? What about the fact that they were more than likely Vikings – shall I go back to Scandinavia? Which country in Scandinavia? Does a planet count as a country? I really have no clue which planet my Alien ancestors came from or whether it still exists – what if it doesn’t exist? Oh this is a pickle!
There’s a strong possibility that people who look a lot less “English” than me are more English than me. Oh dear, I really don’t think the racists have thought this far enough through … what if THEY’RE not 100% English? Should they send themselves back?
So many questions, so few answers, but I think I have a solution. It’s a bit wild and wacky and far out but, bear with me … how about we all just leave each other alone and get on with our own lives! It can’t be that hard can it?
I’m off to make some green, sweet n sour, ice cream 😊 #mixedrace #mixedcultures #mixedfoods