I never questioned my heritage. Both of my parents are Dutch and as I recall so are my grandparents and great grandparents.
Remarkably knowing your heritage was important to a great deal of my high school friends back home. It was a hot topic to many. The fact that a lot of them were kids of interracial-couples makes it easier to understand. Some even felt pity for me being ‘all Dutch’.
As an international exchange student in Winfield, Kansas I was frequently called a ‘F**king foreigner’. By asking their last name ‘Valdois, Van Dyke or Vanderbilt’ I could easily invalidate their remark. Over the last couple of years I noticed that knowing who your ancestors are and uncover your ethic mix is a big deal all over the US. No wonder since there is no real American. There might be still a debate about when the first Americans actually arrived and where they came from, but there’s no denial that America is a melting pot of different ethnicity. After German, Irish is the most common ancestry of Americans.
According to recent study, nearly 8 million people worldwide, but mostly in the United States, have tested their DNA through kits. Fueled by this hype I’ll bet this trend is likely to increase. I fell for it too and ordered the test online.
Doing a bit of research I found out that it’s not possible to tell French from German. The reason is that the people in this region moved around a lot and mixed with each other and with those from neighbouring regions. There is a strong possibility that I am 99% West European. It takes about a month or two to get my saliva analyzed. Even though I have a rough idea what the result will be I am a bit anxious. You never know. There’s alway a chance to inadvertently learn about secretly kept family trauma.
So mom and dad if you have a confession to make, you should do it now. -your daughter Bregje