I’m a Chinese Korean who grew up in Hong Kong and then moved here to the UK for university. Growing up, I felt like I didn’t truly belong to the Korean group nor the Chinese group. I was always thinking, “where do I fit in?”. Not to mention English is my first language because my parents somehow fell in love over English (despite not being able to speak it fluently!). Plus they wanted us to “get ahead in life”. I lived in Asia for a big period of my life and was part of the majority, so moving to the UK was a very different experience. Suddenly I became the minority. I was made aware that I was “different” and received many questions that I wasn’t used to. But instead of making me feel any lesser than, it actually pushed me to be more proud of who I am, and where I’ve come from. Proud of both my Chinese side and my Korean side, equally.
I think the #TakeYourPlace project is so strong because it shows all the different lenses of Asian experiences. We don’t all fit in the same box. I was drawn to the project not only because I support more representation, but also because it proves there’s not one definition of what it means to be Asian. We represent diversity!
Career-wise, I’m a product marketing manager at a technology company. But during COVID-19, I’ve also founded Represent Love, a Community Interest Company that focuses on the experiences of interracial and intercultural couples. It’s a passion project that stemmed from observing the experience of those in interracial relationships during the Black Lives Matter movement and the Anti-Asian hate crimes, and also navigating parental disapproval.
Our goal isn’t to change the world overnight or become this big organisation. But at the very least, I would like to know that we at least created some helpful resources for others. It was so frustrating going through my own experiences feeling like there wasn’t anything I could go to. So I just want to make sure that other people going through similar issues as me can have resources that support and empower people in diverse relationships.
For example we recently launched a guide on how to speak with disapproving parents, which addresses how prejudice can often be close to home, even if it is well-intentioned. We also published another guide slash photobook all about multicultural weddings. It’s surprising how some of this information is nowhere to be found anywhere…
This may sound silly but in the future, I would love to paint a wall mural, where we can have this artistic and beautiful way of spreading our message and making people aware of us. Maybe even a pop up shop at some point, where people can come in, explore our work, and get involved.
Another passion of mine is dancing. I have always loved dancing. It’s not just about being active and healthy but it’s a great way to meet people and socialise, especially for an introvert like me where talking all the time can be draining. It’s such a big part of my life and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. I started with salsa and discovered that there’s this big Latin underground dance scene in London. So that was really fun for my early 20s. Now I dance several styles, and have been pushing myself a bit further to start teaching and taking it to a more professional level with a dance partner.
What I also love about dancing is that, whatever style it is, whether it’s dancehall or Latin, you get to immerse yourself in the culture. And coming from an Asian background, which favours being modest and reserved, it can be refreshing to be brought out of that and feel empowered to express your energy and femininity through dance.