BAMBI News October 2020
Published on: October 12, 2020
I’m Gloria, the new Chairwoman and I’d also like to introduce our Vice-Chairwoman, Terryn who recently joined BAMBI and has kindly offered to volunteer in this role.
As a long-time BAMBI member, I read the magazine every month and it has always been a pleasure to see what our past Chairwomen had to say. It is now my turn and while I feel very nervous because writing is not my strongest skill, I’m excited because I’m leaving my comfort zone to take on a new challenge.
This month we will be talking about identity. I’m originally from Mexico but at a very young age I had this feeling of not belonging in my own society; not to my culture but to the constant feeling of not being welcome in my own country. Mexico is one of the most racist places I know and I would be mistreated just because I’m brown and have an indigenous look.
Then I moved to Barcelona where once again I was rejected for the color of my skin. After 10 years there, I moved to Singapore and when people would ask me where I was from, I had doubts. I was born in Mexico but after living so many years in Barcelona I felt more Catalan/Spanish. I held a Spanish passport so would say “I’m Spanish” but I felt like I was betraying who I really was. Then I had the opportunity to move to Thailand and I decided to go as who I am now, a Mexican that has lived most of her adult life in Barcelona.
It has taken me almost 38 years to discover my identity and because of my skin color and indigenious look, I can navigate as Thai, Filipino, Burmese and sometimes a bit Chinese. Asia is the part of the world where I feel the least discriminated compared to Europe and America but that doesn’t mean there’s no racism.
I felt so sad when my daughter came home saying she didn’t want to be “brown”. She is only 5, so who is telling her that “brown” is bad? We are still in that phase where she thinks Mummy is the most incredible and beautiful thing so I asked her: “Don’t you want to be like Mummy? We are morenitas preciosas (beautiful brown girls) and people would love to have our skin color.”
I truly believe we can still change this world for good. We need to teach our kids to stop resisting and start existing and embrace who they really are even if the journey to discover that takes time like mine did.
BAMBI’s identity is also constantly changing and improving. We have welcomed many new team members and recently held a Strategic Planning session to define what BAMBI will look like in coming years. I am looking forward to sharing more about this in future issues and also look forward to meeting more of you at our upcoming playgroups and events.