It’s one thing to be Haitian-American, balancing the Haitian culture with the dynamics of having been born in the USA, or mostly raised in the USA! But what of those who are of that background, and are also part of another culture. Tara M, a lifestyle and fashion blogger is such a person! She was born in the USA with a Haitian parent and a Filipino parent. What did she have to say? What was it like growing up as a US-born daughter of a Haitian and a Filipino? Haitian Filipino. Filipino Haitian. Filipina and Haitian. Your fave chick Kreyolicious investigates!
Kreyolicious: As an American with both Filipino and Haitian heritage, how did you handle the duality of cultures?
Tara M: To be honest, I think I handle the duality of both cultures like most biracial people. I was raised Americanized. My parents both came here when they were toddlers so when they raised my brother and I, they did not really teach us much about our ethnic backgrounds. I do sometimes wish I did know more, but I can understand how they probably thought raising us in the American culture was easier.
Kreyolicious: Were there times when you felt like you had to gravitate towards one or the other?
Tara M: I definitely don’t feel like I gravitate to one or the other. I don’t associate with one more than the other. Yes, most people see me as the Filipino side but my hair definitely is “mixed girl hair”. I did not inherit the typical Asian hair, so even though I look in the mirror and see I do look mostly Filipino, the struggle with my hair everyday is a constant reminder that I am mixed. My hair is what keeps my association with the Haitian side strong.
Kreyolicious: Do the two cultures have anything in common?
Tara M: The thing I feel is the common factor for both places is that both Haitian and the Philippines are islands, so it’s pretty cool to know I have “island blood” from both sides. Makes a lot of sense cause I love the heat.
Kreyolicious: You’ve been to Haiti or the Philippines?
Tara M: I have not been to either the Philippines or Haiti. Both those places are on my bucket list. A lot of people ask me if I have ever been to those places and I always regret saying No. One day I will make a trip out there and really learn about both my cultures.
Kreyolicious: What’s the best advice you’ve been given from each side?
Tara M: The best advice I have been given from both sides is to embrace the fact that I have these two completely different cultures in me. It is a blessing to represent both of those countries.
Ahem, readers…I smell a new series from Kreyolicious…Don’t you? We’ll call it…When You’re Haitian and Something Else…Hooray!
CLICK HERE to view Tara M’s videos on Youtube.