My sister always gets mad at me because I always say Japanese Canadian or Indo Canadian or Chinese Canadian. She says we’re all Canadian. But for older people like me, it’s just natural for us to say, Japanese Canadian or Chinese Canadian. Other people look at us and they don’t say, we’re Canadians. They always say are you Japanese or Chinese? It’s very common.
A lot of times when I was teaching, parents would ask, “Oh, I don’t want to be inquisitive, but are you Japanese or Chinese?” I was teaching this little girl who had a lisp and she’d call me Miss O’Sheila. Her parents came and were looking for their daughter’s teacher. I was in the classroom waiting. and I said, “Are you Mr. and Mrs. so and so?” They said: “Yes. We’re waiting for Laurie’s teacher.” I told them that she’s in my class. The parents looked at each other. The father said, “My daughter calls you Miss O’Sheila so we thought you were Irish.” I thought that was funny. They were really surprised.