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An Adoptee of Color Reflects On The Great Minnesota Get Together

I loved it as a child.  I swoon over it as an adult.  The Great Minnesota Get Together, aka, The Minnesota State Fair, is the shiznit!  It’s got the unhealthiest food, but unhealthy = flippin awesome!  Take a look at some of the goodies being offered for the first time in 2012.

Machinery Hill?  Gotta like Machinery Hill.  It’s tractor porn for the masses.

The music?  Free music everywhere.  This year Wilson Phillips is playing multiple times for free!  I’m a total music snob, but who doesn’t like to sing along to “Hold On”?!

Like animals?  Gazillion breeds of chickens.  Goats.  Lambs.  Pigeons.  Horses.  Llama, llama, red pajamas.  And pigs.  Really big pigs.  But watch out for swine flu.

Princess Kay of the Milky Way/butter sculptures?  You betcha!  You can see butter representations of young women’s heads.  Sounds weird, but they’re totally cool.  Think Mount Rushmore, but edible and goes great with corn on the cob.

People watching?  The Minnesota State Fair is one of the greatest places for that.  Thousands of people attend each day, and the attendees are a super good representation of the State’s population, which is predominantly white.  Speaking of which…

The Minnesota State Fair is a mirror, right?  That’s how it promotes itself because it reflects who we are as Minnesotans.  But you know as an adoptee of color/as a person of color, when I people watch at the fair, when I look into the mirror, I don’t necessarily see myself in totality.  As an adult, I’m fine with this because over the years, with the help of others, I’ve come to the realization that the “whiteness” around me is a peculiar part of who I am that is at the same time NOT who I am.  As a kid, however, what I saw in the mirror was confounding and difficult to navigate.  And I wonder if adoptee kids of color these days perhaps feel the same as they walk among what is suppose to be “their people” at The Great Minnesota Get Together.

4 Comments on An Adoptee of Color Reflects On The Great Minnesota Get Together

  1. I’m sure they feel the same today, especially if they live in all- or mostly-white places. How many adoptees of color have seen younger adoptees staring at us in public? This is something I just started noticing a few years ago. I often wonder if younger Asian adoptees look at me because they so rarely see a face that resembles theirs at all. I’m sure that’s part of it — I did the same thing as a kid.

  2. Oh man, that food looks so tasty. Almost makes me want to go to Minnesota. I relate to this post even though I had the luck of growing up in nyc. In nyc we have all races and ethnicities represented but we do not necessarily share the same language. And to me that was a frustration. There were people who looked more like me than my “parents” but I couldn’t communicate with them. I think growing up, my adoption became a strange multilayered painfully american 90’s style chip dip of culture.

    Three out of four of my adoptive grandparents were Italian immigrants to the US, my adoptive parents were second generation Italian-americans, the first of their families to go to college and lil ol me comes wandering along latina by birth – but not, italian-american by culture- but not, an immigrant – but not (except for that whole legal mess). I periodically wonder if it would have been better or worse if I was raised in the midwest by a family “even more white” or with the absence of any visible ethnicity or race. But, I think regardless there was always a spectator-type “I am here to watch the strange alien peoples” feeling.

    • Thanks for sharing all of this. I think many of us has had the “alien” moment. Our friend Mark Hagland, who is Korean and grew up in Wisconsin, talks about his experience growing up in the “alien” term as well.

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