I’m sitting at a German pub with my German husband and two other Canadian friends visiting. FACTS: I’m Canadian (born in Afghanistan – moved to Canada when I was 3). My two friends are also Canadian (one was born in Iran but moved to Canada when he was 12 and the other was born in Canada to a Malaysian mom and British dad). Just to state the obvious, we aren’t “white”.
A friendly, German man next to me leans over, notices we are speaking English and joins our conversation. After a few minutes he asks us where we are from – I start “Canada”, my two friend also say “Canada” and my husband says “Germany”. The man’s eyebrows raise each time we say “Canada”, as if he doesn’t believe us – and then he opens his mouth and confirms the thought. “But how can you be Canadian – where are you really from?”.