I was just up in Ann Arbor, Michigan presenting to a group of MBA students who are members of the Hispanic Latino Students Business Association at the Stephen. M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
The group was wonderful and during lunch we talked a little bit about where each of us was from. As is the case more often than not, a few students had a mixed background. The winner, however, was a young man who looked Korean. He was born in Korea and moved to Chile when he was two years old. He lived between Chile and Paraguay until he was seven or eight, time at which his family moved to Brazil.
A little while back, he moved to the US to study so, by now, he speaks Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and English and judging from the languages I heard him speak, he does so pretty well!
“What do you say when people ask you ‘where are you from’?” I inquired curiously.
“Brazil” He responded with no hesitation. And then went on to explain that when he lived in Brazil, his Korean friends had the same Brazilian influences that he had. But once he moved to the US he realized he had less in common with the Korean community here, as they are from Korea. “That’s when I realized I was really Brazilian,” he said.
And of course, many Brazilians identify with the Latino culture, so here he was, hanging out with the HLSBA group.
So, when people ask you ‘where are you from’, what do you say?