Asking someone ‘Where are you from?’ is an “invasive and quite unnecessary question”, a Lunchtime Live listener has said.
Stephanie moved to Ireland from the Netherlands when she was nine-years-old and has lived here for two decades.
Her family originates from Nigeria and, although she is Irish, she is aware that she does not fit many people’s stereotype of what an Irish woman looks like.
“I get the question, ‘Where are you from?’ because my skin colour does not fit into the stereotypical Irish skin colour,” she said.
“It is a problem.”
It is something that she was asked even as a child and she finds it a rather loaded question.
“[Being asked, ‘Where are you from] wasn’t my first biased or racist incident - so, I was well used to people judging me differently based on how I looked,” she said.
“It is very confusing for someone at that age being treated differently or being asked these invasive and quite unnecessary questions at age 10 because they’re curious or they want to treat you differently.
“It’s not a question that is needed.”
Stephanie has a niece who is in primary school and she said it “breaks her heart” that she will likely experience the same thing.
“It is a worry for me that she might have to experience that in a society that is all she has ever known,” she said.
“She doesn’t know any different, she’s been on holidays but she’s never lived anywhere differently… She’s as Irish as it gets but I know society will look at her and think, ‘Jesus, I wonder where she’s really from?’”
Stephanie hopes, in time, such questions can be "rooted out of society".
Main image: A group of people.