But let me explain. I’m an ABC too. In my country it stands for Australian Born Chinese. I grew up in Australia where I lived for most of my life before moving to the US for a man (like how that started off then suddenly crashed head on into a country song lyric?). ABC has become a beautifully fluid definition, one which I’ve grown to embrace as it evolves with each generation. It used to simply mean ‘Australia Born Chinese’, my brother and I are first generation Australian-born Chinese. Now I’ve added NZABC since I was born in New Zealand and lived there for a few years before popping across the water leaving the sheep behind – for more sheep. Along the way I learned the NZ identity provides Wonder Woman bulletproof bracelets against the mandatory New Zealand vs. Australia rivalry trash talk that invariably occurs whenever antipodeans meet. For example, when my kid played soccer one of the coaches hailed from New Zealand. Upon discovering I was Australian he flawlessly segued into Australia trash talk. It can be very subtle, the intonation changes ever so slightly but delivered to hit the mark in as few words as possible. But I was ready and Wonder Woman’d his ass with “Actually I was born in New Zealand so I’m also a Kiwi”. Then you slide into which cities you’re from, how long the flight home is, and what a pain it is to get there especially with kids and how you love/hate it.
Back to the country song and now I may need to add California/US to the ever evolving identity. NZABCCA? NZABCUS? Sounds like Athlete’s Foot medication but still playing around with it. And my kids. They’re barely 3 feet tall. They’re Taiwanese, Cantonese, New York, Australian, New Zealand, American, Californian, and quite possible mid-USA given how one has a penchant for stick-to-your-ribs starch. I hope their acronym has room for much, much more because we’ll be kicking them out the door with a backpack and clean underwear to explore the world because damn, what an amazing world it is. And you never know who you’re going to meet.