This voicemail is from my mom talking to me about my Filipino family. I often think about my mixed-cultural heritage, and my lack of connection with my Filipino side due to my lack of a relationship with my mom. Being mixed-race had always been confusing growing up, but missing parts of my identity added to my confusion. Our project is meant to re-align us with our nostalgia and heritage, but what does it mean to not have a connection to that heritage to begin with? I am proud to be Haitian-Filipina American, but I feel re-embracing my family and my culture will continue to be a part of my process.
to add to
I often think about my experience as a mixed race person and my duality when comes to race and ethnicity. Things weren’t always laid out for me in a clear way and I still have a lot of self-research to do. The explanation Sam wrote on slide 14 really reminds me of an episode of this podcast I listen to. Where speak about the mixed experience and how it intersects with colorism within the black community:
LINK to podcast pls give it a listen!
I miss my mom. I also think of my relationship with both sides of my family. My mom’s side lives entirely in Korea, who grew up steeped in another culture entirely. My dad’s side of the family is considerably more Americanized than we are, none of my cousins grew up speaking as much Korean in the home, but they grew up in environments with large Asian-American communities.
This voicemail reminds me of my relationship with my family in the Philippines. Even though I have been to the Philippines multiple times and keep in contact with my family there, I often feel disconnected with that side of the family. I grew up with my Filipino grandparents but still feel very detached from them and their lives.
I get these types of voicemails often from my family in the Philippines because it is hard to align our schedules due to the time difference. We are often playing phone tag and I rarely get to actually speak with them. The distance makes it hard to feel connected with that side of myself and my family.
“Our project is meant to re-align us with our nostalgia and heritage, but what does it mean to not have a connection to that heritage to begin with?”
For a long time I didn’t think about the fact that I am from Indian decent. My cousins on both sides are half white and half Indian and strangely they have all accepted that side of themselves. They consider themselves Indian in one way or another. Or at least they feel partially connected to that place in some way. I’ve also never lived there. I grew up elsewhere. I don’t speak an Indian language, I don’t practice any religion that is associated with India. But I am technically 100% Indian by blood, yet I feel I have no relation to that place. I think a large part of it is that in my mind it’s a bad place that produces bad people. Which is hard for me to say. There’s no doubt it has some good aspects to it (there just harder for me to see). But almost every association I have with India (mostly familial) makes me so incredibly sad. In the US, India is seen as this wonderful spiritual place where you go and find yourself. But in reality it is so fucked up. I think it may just be my personal experiences. I have just noticed a theme of abuse/oppression towards the female members of my family, both extended and immediate. I have just recently come to find out some information about my Grandfather, I won’t disclose it here, but it just reinforces this idea that the fundamental standard for how people act and behave towards others is just..low.
Of course this is just my viewpoint. My mom thinks I should put some more thought into it. It’s not just India that has these kinds of issues. Every place has their good and bad sides. I think I’m just sensitive about India in particular because when it comes down to it, that’s where I came from. That is my history. And others, when they look at me, they see that I am Indian. They probably don’t know what that means. But sometimes I feel that when people look at me, they do know, and they’ll treat me as such.
This straight up made me cry
Any voicemail from a family member is precious, but one from a mother to a daughter is absolutely priceless. In the voicemail, your mother sounds somewhat hesitant – she has a lot of “ums” and some pauses – but it’s mixed in with a parent’s uneasy love for a child they have a complicated relationship with. She calls you by a nickname and refers to herself as mommy, saying she wanted to check in about a mother’s day party.
My mom sends me the bible verse of the day EVERY Sunday without fail – I have a mixed relationship with Christianity but my parents are incredibly devout Christians who believe strongly in God and fear Him. I know she is disappointed that I’m not as strong a Christian as she is so that creates some complicated feelings between us, but she’s moved on from scolding me to just sending me Bible verses hoping that I read them and think of them throughout the week. Sometimes I feel that I lost part of a deep connection with my mom because of my lack of interest in Christianity.
Jason and Jenna Greenberg:
Object #7 (Audio) • Kind of hard to hear--> had to listen through a few times • After reading the description, it seems like the mom is a little hesitant reaching out over the phone, but there still are moments of affections with the terms of endearment