Cultural Competency in the bar scene as a Succulent Babe



I’m going to start off by saying that I identify as a Canadian who is half Filipino and half East Indian. Let’s be real, the cultures that I’m submerged in have fed me the most amazing food my whole life.  Other than world peace, what else could you possibly ask for from your countries of origin?

Before I go on the biggest tangent about food, the point of this blog post is to talk about cultural competency in the bar scene, or maybe cultural incompetency in the bar scene? Let me put it this way, if I had a dollar for every time a guy has come up to me and asked, “Where do you come from?” you would get a car and you get a car because I would be that rich. My answer every time is, “I come from Edmonton.” This answer is usually accompanied by a WTF look on my face. Why? Because, in my opinion it’s possible to ask what a person's ethnicity is while being respectful and flattering all at the same time.  If you are at a loss as to what I’m saying, then these are some examples:

  • Yo girl, you are lookin’ fine as wine! What is your ethnicity?
  •  Damn, you are hella gorgeous! What culture do you identify with?
  • Wooww… I have wanted to talk to you since you got here! You're beautiful. I am dying to know your heritage!

See! SO MANY WAYS EXIST! Now, no one has an excuse when they ask a question regarding the nature of someone’s ethnicity. When you act like a fool, I can guarantee you will not find love in the club.

Why does this matter to me?

  • It’s 2017 in Canada. Need I say more? I shouldn’t have to, but I will anyways. Unless you are of Indigenous decent, you are an immigrant. Therefore, it’s our responsibility as first, second, or third generation Canadians to be mindful of the way we ask sensitive questions. Just because you see an ethnic girl at the bar, doesn’t mean you have the right to ask where she comes from as if you own the land.
  •  It’s 2017, I can vote and I can have your respect. It’s my right and our right as human beings to be respected. I know your mama didn’t race no fool SO JUST BE POLITE.

“If the Emmy’s can recognize diversity as a big ass institution based on looks, surely YOU can do it”  - Addy, fellow Succulent Babe, member of my tribe, future doctor, and the biggest advocate of “slay all day”

The entirety of what I’m trying to say can easily be translated to any environment, work, community, and/or bars. It’s all relevant. Staring a local business where mindfulness is a huge focus, I’ve become more aware of being aware. And as I meet more people through all these different settings I’m realizing that you get to choose your ignorance. So the lesson here is: choose to be better, and choose to be aware.

I just want to reiterate that the purpose of this blog series is to give some insight into what makes people eye roll at the bar. (Ps. these eye rolls are totally preventable)

For me, it’s the questions of:

  • "But, where do you come from?... For real."
  • “What ethnicity would you choose first?”
  • “But… where are you REALLY from?”
  • “Which ethnicity do you like better?”
  • “Which culture do you ACTUALLY identify with?

And if someone else refers to me as a “creature” again I swear to the holiest of burgers that I may just lose it- ya feel?! Just like Sam Smith, I know I’m not the only one. So without further adieu, my lovely like-minded friends have agreed to share their own experiences and opinions about the subject matter at hand. They’re pretty unapologetic, so you’re going to want to stick around for this. Get ready for 4 weeks of CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN THE BAR SCENE, as a Succulent babe of course ;)

Longevity: Our competency as a whole will make for waaaayy better future interactions with all races. WHO DOESN'T WANT THAT?

Lesson: Pointing fingers will get us no where fast- so don't do that! Also, it's rude. Didn't your mama tell you that?

Success: The fact that we get to post this on the interwebs of 2018 is a god damn success. 

Thugz & Kisess,


Alaine & Lesley