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What happens to your cultural heritage when you marry someone of a different race?

(Illustration by Chris Kindred for The Washington Post)

Amy Choi is a first-generation Korean American woman who is married to a first-generation Colombian Mexican American. Her two children speak Spanish (as does she), but very little Korean.

We talked about the anxiety she feels about the reality of having children who look and act a lot less Korean than she does.

“There’s a part that, yeah, really is very scared about the sense that if they no longer look Asian, then will they be Korean? And the answer to me is yes. Because they will be able to take whatever Korean is and make it into their own,” Choi said.

This is the other side of coming into one’s mixed-race identity — the act of creation that comes with distance from a “mother” culture. It’s the mashing up of heritages and identities that creates what people love to refer to as the American “melting pot.”

But what parts of our mother cultures do we carry with us? And what cultural gaps are just too wide to be bridged?

In this episode of “Other: Mixed Race in America,” I chat with Amy Choi and Sulome Anderson about their families and the bridges they had to build to make them work.

New episodes of “Other: Mixed Race in America” will publish every day for a week, starting May 1. Subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts or RadioPublic.

Read a transcript of this episode here. 


Learn more about the other episodes here:

Learn more about the other episodes here:

  1. Race is more than just black and white. This new podcast explores some of that middle ground.