Comments I'm tired of receiving:
1) "You look Persian", "Are you from Israel or Iran?", "Wait-you're Indian, right?", "Where are you from, originally, I mean?"
I've been receiving these comments and comments similar to these all my life. Why does where I'm from matter so much? Like, I genuinely want to know how my place of birth impacts you. I absolutely detest being asked this. Unless someone brings up their birthplace in a conversation, don't ask. This question is generally asked based on the appearance or name of an individual, and is an effort by the asker to put said individual in a racial category.
"So let’s get one thing straight: I’m fine with being mixed-race. What I’m not fine with is how people approach me because of it. I have been stopped on the street, in elevators, and even yelled at on a ferry because people have so desperately wanted to know “what I was.” One man actually shouted, “Where are you from?! No, where are you really from—where are your parents from?” at me on a ferry because he needed to know the specifics of my racial identity that badly. What’s so bad about these kind of questions isn’t even the questions themselves—it’s the intrusive way in which they have been thrust upon me. Not only do the people asking about my racial makeup feel entitled to know personal things about my life, my family, and my history, but they feel like their “need” to ask questions is more important than whatever it was I was trying to do at the moment they decided to ask," (http://www.bustle.com/articles/70567-18-things-mixed-race-girls-are-very-tired-of-people-saying-to-them).
2) "Your last name sounds like a disease", "We don't have names like that in America", "Bet you wish you had a shorter last name, huh?"
I have heard these comments so many times, I used to wish my last name was "Smith". My last name is "Rajagopal", means "king of the cowherds", and is literally just nine letters long. It does not sound like "a disease", the name is both amazingly common in India as well as in the US, and the length of name is rad the way it is.
3) "What do you identify yourself as?", "Yeah but what are you?", "I mean, you're white, right?"
This question is usually asked by white folks, as I've noticed in my own personal experiences. I've learned that the best thing to say in this situation is "other", but then, I'm faced with: "What's 'other'?", "Is that like half-white?", "No you're not, you're ___________." Why do you feel the need to put me in a box? Why must I identify as one thing, and why does that bring you peace? Do not ask what a person "is", it actually makes no sense and is obviously an attempt to limit their identity and stick them in a category.
4) "You know, my father's wife has been to India", "My family's been to India", "I know someone who knows about all these Indian traditions"
I am from America. The farthest I've ever traveled outside of Texas is New York. I'm from Manhattan. People are constantly trying to find common ground with me by way of using my appearance and name as indications of where I'm from and finding similarities between us from there. It's not appreciated; why not ask me what my favorite ice cream flavor is, or what color I like best?