Chicken Reza

The first time I ever boarded a plane was when I was nine years old. It wasn’t to go to Disneyland or Spain or anywhere else you’d typically expect a first holiday to be; it was to go to my father’s motherland, Iran.
It was unforgettably hot when we stepped out of the airport and were greeted by a cousin, I’d not met. He drove us from the airport to an area in the South of Iran called Ahvaz, where my father had grown up. At first, I was overwhelmed by the amount of family members who were there to greet us on our arrival. I thought that they had all come together just to welcome us, as it was the first time that my dad had been back in years but I later found out that they were always together like this, every day. That wasn’t the strange part though, the weirdest thing about it for me, was that nobody seemed to have any pets. In fact, I think that I was the only person there to have ever owned a pet during my one month stay. It wasn’t the most usual of pets either for a nine year old girl; it was a cockerel I had named ‘Chicken Reza’ after my cousin Reza; who was not in the slightest bit flattered by this gesture.
I hadn’t gone out with the intention of bringing a pet chicken back to my grandmother’s house, it just happened.
My father and I were out shopping one day for some chicken to have for dinner, and I was half expecting there to be a supermarket with already dead chickens in ready for us to buy, but where we went, looked more like a pet shop to me. There were loads of these chickens cooped up in cages outside of this store, and how it worked was, you picked one out alive, they chopped its head off in front of you, and then they would put it into a machine which removed all of its feathers. I had another idea however; I saw this one cockerel, pure white with the reddest comb of the bunch, and instead of looking at him and seeing food I looked at him and saw life. I decided to save him, which my grandmother was not happy about to say the least when we had returned with this chicken who walked freely around her home like a dog.
Unfortunately her mentality was not the same as mine when it came to seeing him as more than just something to eat, because after a couple of weeks of having him, he mysteriously vanished. My dad told me that Chicken Reza had flown away but it wasn’t until years later when I learned that chickens don’t actually fly, that I questioned him and got the truth. My grandmother had cooked Chicken Reza for dinner.

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The ONLY annoying thing about being multi-raced

Now the headline is a bit misleading because there isn’t actually anything annoying about being multi-raced, it’s great. I love being half Iranian, half English/Irish, because it makes me feel unique. I can identify as either one of my races if I wish to, I am not restricted and I don’t come across many people with the exact same mix as mine so when I do it is exciting. This blog post is not intended just for those of a similar race to mine however, it is for anyone who has a mix in them, of all backgrounds. It is also for those that don’t have mixes in them at all but perhaps they have a child who is, or a friend, or relative. Whether you are mixed or not you could possibly benefit from reading this post or even relate to it.
Now this annoying thing that I speak of is an issue I have somewhat experienced myself and one that I have heard other mixed people speak of. It is a common problem that only some not all mixed/multi raced individuals will relate to. I say this because everyone has their own experiences, and their are some that won’t ever experience this and some that already have or might do one day.
It is the matter of when others try to tell you what race you are out of your mixes. Most of the time it is said through unintentional words or action with no harm done but for the person on the receiving end it can be quite annoying to have someone else try to identify you.
Not everyone who experiences this cares but some do and that’s because other people have no idea how they have been brought up. They could have had a stronger influence of one of their mixes growing up than the other but they might just look more like the other part of their race for instance, so therefore people try to identify them as that. It could be though, that in actual fact they’ve been raised eating the traditional food of the other race, can speak the language, listen to the music and just do things differently to the race that their being viewed as.
This experience for some isn’t a problem but for others it can be. It can feel like in a way they are being told to be something that they don’t personally identify as. That their beautiful mixes which make them so unique are being stripped from them as they are just being seen as the one.
It is nobody’s place to tell you what you are. Embrace your races and identify with whichever one you feel more connected to, not what anyone else tells you, you are. Try to embrace all of your races, but if you don’t want to then you don’t have to. That is one of the many beauties of being mixed, you can identify as which ever one you choose to or all if you wish.
If you do find yourself experiencing this one day don’t be offended either, it isn’t usually said or done with any malice intended most of the time, so just try to bare that in mind. They are simply just unaware.
People should embrace others for who they truly are, not just what they see.

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