Asian Heritage Month- Jonah

Illustration of Asian man, wearing glasses and a baseball cap, leaning against a wall

What does your asian heritage mean to you?

My asian heritage means everything to me. I believe being asian surpasses the idea of my physical identity, but also defines my way of life, mindset etc. Growing up in a diverse neighbourhood and attending a multicultural school, I didn’t really pay any mind to my asian heritage. I guess you could say because I was exposed to so much “colour”, I thought being of colour was “normal”. It wasn’t until I went to (a predominantly white) university where I realized and felt that I was a minority. It felt weird when peers questioned certain cultural habits and practices that seemed foreign to western society. Reflecting back on those days, my asian heritage taught me resilience and strength to acknowledge my roots and not homogenize myself into a cookie cutter identity.

What is a challenge you face navigating this identity?

Definitely the stereotypes. Real talk though, if you are born a person of colour, you’re immediately bestowed a challenge to navigate through life. Right now, in this corona climate, it’s definitely more challenging to deal with ignorance and racism from other races. In fact, grocery shopping today felt extremely uncomfortable when certain individuals would tell me to step away from them or make weird eye contact. And as a “menswear blogger” Im gonna throw in brands... I was wearing Prada shoes and the latest season of Parisian streetwear and yet that didn’t matter... if you’re “asian” in this climate, it doesn’t matter how successful/smart/financially stable/well dressed you are, you are automatically the butt of all jokes and racism... which sucks.
And this relates back to the first question... I am so glad that i have a firm foundation and truly understand my asian heritage so I can stand confidently in my skin and not feel the need to be someone i’m not!

What is one thing about being Asian Canadian you wouldn’t trade for the world?

All the pros and cons of being Asian Canadian have contributed to who I am as a person today. To be real, my Asian Canadian heritage is what makes me, candidly, Jonah.

What’s one positive thing keeping you during quarantine?/ What is a highlight of being in quarantine?

Being in quarantine has allowed me to reconnect with old friends I have not communicated with in years. Whether it be over FaceTime or several voice memos, catching up with some of my favourite people have been priceless. Just hearing a voice I haven’t heard in ages and realizing they haven’t changed gets me so excited. The harsh reality is, if it weren’t for this virus, I guarantee you that reconnecting with certain individuals would occur. I love when things occur organically, but at times, it takes a little push in order to start.

You can keep up with Jonah on his blog over at



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