The world is composed of very different people. To their physical characteristics, mental processes and social interactions. And sometimes, some people move to a different place for various reasons. It might be that they can see a better future on a foreign country, for the thrill of change or to start a new life. After adapting to the foreign country for a period of time, they might go and look for a partner, which if their relationship go well, might result to them starting a family with a child that is hyphenated. Growing up, the child might face issues like discrimination, dehyphenation and difficulty in assimilation.
First of all, discrimination comes in many forms. Mostly, race or religion discrimination. Most hyphenated children will possess two races and one of the two races. And sometimes, one of the two might put you in a position where you are going to be discriminated. It might sound funny or baffle you but some people in kijiji (website that posts advertisements) demand renters to be of specific race. And one of it is the one you possess. Also, not only the people in websites might conduct racism. For example, Isabel Vincent once wrote “Toronto police used to disperse small crowds of Portuguese men who lingered too long outside cafes.” (Vincent, 1990) Hyphenated childrens might also face racism against the one who enforces the law.
In addition, racism against hyphenated children can lead them to depression. We know discrimination is not as extreme as it is in the past as is it now. But hyphenated children are still prone to racism. According to leaders of the Chinese-Canadian community, the immigrant Chinese children Chinese children have not only been ostracized but also they have been subjected to physical and verbal attacks. (Studymoose, 2016) Getting bruises, scars, wounds plus the pain of hearing hurtful words are not helpful for the two raced childrens that feels that they do not belong to anything. Although discrimination is now less prevalent because many are aware of it and frowned upon now, we can not deny that hyphenated children can still be a target of prejudices.
Second, sometimes hyphenated children are born in their parents foreign country. The children did not wail or cry on the homeland that their parents were born. They will grow up and experience the environment where they are birthed and might never make contact with the history of the country where their parents are born in. These two raced individuals never experienced what is it be the other race. Jan Wong stated in his reading “Jan Wong wants to see Canadians de-hyphenate themselves’ that “Oddly, the more Chinese I learned and the more history and culture I absorbed, the less Chinese I felt.”(Wong, 1999) These two raced individuals never experienced what is it be the other race, why would not they de-hyphenate themselves? It is justifiable.
Moreover, experiencing less or nothing about a race sometimes will discourage them to be part of it or call themselves as one. Minelle Mahtani, a professor of human geography at the University of Toronto Scarborough, says that many of the mixed-raced women she spoke to for a 2002 paper rejected hybrid identifiers like “Somali-Canadian.” Maybe it is because they do not want do something that would be considered wrong in the eyes of a “Somali” and offend them due to lack of knowledge about the ethnic. That is why they do not de-hyphenate themselves.
Finally, humans are social creatures. And de-hyphenated childrens are human too. They try to fit in and try to look to where they belong. “Am I going to act like a Chinese? Or a Canadian?” It’s difficult to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance where they regard you as “one of them.” (Yi, 1992) Yi, a Korean-Canadian struggled with stereotypes that Koreans were fantastic at math and science. She stated in her writing that she was not good at it but expected to be good at those subjects by her peers. Hyphenated children are pressured to the expectations of each race that they possess and are having trouble on how to behave.