• Denise

Glimpses of Colour







Blink

I’m 5, I’m not allowed to play outside today Mum says I’m getting to dark.



Blink

I’m 8, my friends at school are teasing me because my skin in green.


Blink

I’m 13, returning from a family vacation, one of my relatives comments that she didn’t recognise me she thought I was Mexican (I was wearing a sombrero at the time)



Blink

I’m talking to my Mum about our Sri Lankan heritage - what Sri Lankan Heritage she says, we’re European - Dutch, Spanish and English. Hmmm, so my parents own and run a Sri Lankan restaurant that was started after my grandparents emigrated from Sri Lanka, after generations of my ancestors lived there. My Uncle, (my mothers’ brother) was held at Australian borders during the emigration process and almost deported as part of the White Australia policy at the time, but yeah we’re European.


I guess we just tan well?


I’ve spent a lot of time looking into my family tree. The ‘unwashed’ version (not the version that was used to gain entry into Australia) has a few names in there that have a LOT of letters in them, are very unpronounceable and are absolutely not English, Dutch or Spanish.

Now to be fair (pun intended), I am the darkest of my family, my middle sister is very very dutch looking, and although I share similar skin colouring to my oldest sister, I ‘tan’ a lot more.

Blink

I’ve just given birth to my first son Jake, the paediatrician notices a dark blue patch at the base of his spine that I thought was a slight bruise. Nope he says, that is a Mongolian Blue Spot, a transient birth mark that is often present in children with ASIAN heritage. Yup we tan well. Kobi, my second son has the same birth mark. Makes it really easy to make sure they have brought the right baby back to me, a quick glimpse down the nappy and we’re all good.

Blink

In a fit a sheer lunacy my husband asks me what it feels like to get a fake tan. To describe my look as disdainful is a gross understatement.

Blink

I’m in Sri Lanka having a massage, the masseuse looks at me and says, so you’re part Sri Lankan yes? Yes I reply, how could you tell? Easy she says it’s the colour of your skin. WOW, I wasn’t expecting that, but it makes me feel even more like I’m exploring my heritage. Because I can tell you when I visited the Netherlands (Dad’s Dutch) nobody asked me if I was Dutch!

Blink

One of the Plastic Surgeons I work with comments on how dark I’ve become whilst on annual leave. Compared to his pale complexion, yes I do look very dark. I point out that I am a genetic improvement. He pauses - yes you are he concedes. It’s true, I take longer to burn, I need less sunscreen, less often and I am less likely to get skin cancers. I’m also going to age better most probably due to less sun damage, but as I’m now living outside full time, we’ll see how that goes.

Blink

I’ve sent of my DNA for ancestry analysis. Hmmm 25% South East Asian, I guess that makes you 50% Mum!

Blink

We are renting out our house, and a ‘friend’ of mine comments that we should make sure we don’t rent it out to Indians as they make curry all the time and the house will stink. Really? Really? I say, once again disdainful is an understatement. She quickly realises what she has said. It is an especially naive statement given she’s know me for 20 years and has eaten many many a curry AT MY HOUSE!

Blink

I’m sitting on the back of my boat in Vanuatu taking to a Ni Vanuatu about life, he talks openly about the countries history and the white man and the black man, and asks me about being a half caste. Hmm, half caste, hadn’t thought of myself that way before, but to him I guess he’s bang on.

Blink

I’m talking to Moses in the Solomon Islands, he asks where are we from? Australia we say. He looks at Jamie, then me, back at Jamie, back at me. Not you he says, where are you from? I’m Australian I assure him, but my mother is part Sri Lankan. Ahh he says. That makes more sense.

And I’m only going to get darker as time goes on. It doesn’t matter how much 50+ I apply, I’m definitely getting darker.

Here in the Pacific, I’m to dark to be white and to white to be dark.

I can’t figure out of that is going to be a liability or an asset.

I know one thing for sure though, I’ve never thought about the colour of my skin so much in all my life.





If you liked this blog, please subscribe at https://www.lukimyu.com.au/blog, or for our you tube videos visit our you tube channel at Sailing Lukim Yu

0 views