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Showing posts from 2016

Am I A Plain Old Person?!

My 5-year old said, "Did you know that Beth and Laura in my class speak Chinese?" "That's impressive!!" I said excitedly. "Not really. Their moms must speak Chinese." "Oh. Have you heard them speak Chinese?" I asked. "No. but their moms totally look Chinese." Okay. "They do, huh?" "Yes, totally!!" So I ask  "Do I look Chinese?" "No" "So what do I do look like?" She looks at me and says "You just look like a plain old person." "Plain old person?" I said and gave her the tightest hug I could ever give. This was a very special moment for us as a mother and daughter. Until this moment, she had always looked at me as "the other"- the opposite of the "plain old person". Even before she could speak, she often compared my pale skin with her beautiful mocha complexion. And as soon as she learned to speak a few words,  "Me, Daddy brown. Mommy, wh

Authenticity Test: What Your Name Says About You

“Hi, my name is Meg Okura; I am a jazz violinist and a composer” is something that I would say when I introduce myself. But is this an authentic statement? “My name is Meg Okura.” Yes and no. Sometimes people ask, “what is your REAL name” as if it’s not a real name. Meg Okura is just one of many names I have been called: the Chinese violinist, the Asian chick violinist, Connie Chung, Meg Okurawitz, and a few that I can’t mention here. All joking aside, my birth name is 大倉恵. That's the name I used to be called growing up in Japan. But now, everyone calls me Meg Okura, with the exception of my mother in law, who calls me Mrs. Newsome. Newsome is my husband’s name. Although I never changed my last name to Newsome, she still calls me Mrs. Newsome. I once confronted her about it, and she finally confessed that she just cannot remember my Japanese last name. It’s okay. We’ve only been married for 12 years. This week, we have just celebrated Rosh Hashanah and next week for Yom K