Khmer descent. 100%.
Both my parents are Khmer.
Honestly, I’ve never been identified as Cambodian by anyone, I don’t blame people though, it’s quite hard to guess it correct because truth be told, I do have the “small eyes” and the “chinese look”.
If you ask me “Are you chinese?”, I wouldn’t mind correcting you because I fully understand what it’s like to be mistaken.
But I’ve had people come up to me and go “Ni hao” straight away as if they were mocking me.
It’s not like every “asian” person is immediately chinese, japanese or korean. Hey! Asia’s a huge ass continent, what about the other countries making it up?
Having an accent was also a problem for me. Even within the asian society itself, it’s so remarkable how people could be insulting. I was taught by an American teacher since young so obviously, I grew up pronouncing words the same way. When I speak, I pronounce things differently than what most Khmer people pronounce them as.
It wasn’t much of a problem back at home since people would say that I speak english well, but when I moved to Singapore to attend middle school, people mocked me for having an accent, saying things like I only wanted to be like western people. It’s only the few ignorant people who are like that tbh.
Basically, the message I’m bringing across right now is, don’t stereotype. Just because you’re off a certain race, or a certain upbringing, doesn’t mean you’re brought up to act like everyone. Just because you’re asian, doesn’t mean you’re automatically identified as chinese. Just because your first language isn’t english, doesn’t mean you’re expected to suck at it.
There’s not a lot of Khmer people out there. It’s still a developing country but we are developing. One day, Cambodia’s going to be a great country. I can feel it.
I’m so proud to come from a country full of rich heritage & culture and if I were to be reborn as a human again, I’d love to be born khmer. Cambodia is where my home & my heart is, and that’s where it rightfully belongs.