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Happy Dinosaur International
How do we express our personal identity and cultural background?
Happy Dinosaur has been thinking of all the ways we express our personal identity; a common way to show who we are is through color, which Happy Dinosaur encourages with its customization experience. However, there are some elements of our personal identity that we don’t exactly choose.
I am Chinese American—I was adopted before I was one year old but I would say that I have a mixed background: culturally, I am very American, but I present Chinese. Growing up in an area with little diversity, I felt my Asian was very obvious, but when I went to a large university with greater diversity, I felt like I wasn’t Asian enough. I’ve realized that my enculturation has made me like a rice noodle—my flavor comes from my environment.
I think this is good and bad in different ways. Your environment has a huge impact on your self expression but your identity cannot be determined by other people. I think certain objects can be an emblem of your identity, whether they are religious or symbolic.
I had a conversation with a foreign exchange student about the meaning behind a country’s flag and what flags mean. Happy Dinosaur isn’t political—but I think national colors can be an integral part of your personal identity. I have two little flag stickers on my sewing machine: the Chinese flag and the French flag. The latter is because I speak intermediate French. I also have a little flag on a stick from when I became a US Citizen. I think all of these colors represent a little bit of me and I was hoping Happy Dinosaur might do the same.
I am excited to launch my Kickstarter next month with a new collection of Around the World Dinosaurs. There will initially be one of each country; pledge recipients will receive one as a surprise country with a catalogue of the whole collection. The collection will then be offered on my website after the campaign is complete.
I encourage you to request certain countries that you would like to see being made as a Dinosaur on this form: https://forms.gle/wMcDrDLNCbW2heMR7
Here is a sneak peak at some designs, let me know what you think!
Above: Ukraine Dinosaur from Special Edition Rotary International Ukraine Fundraiser
Look out for a form about my next collection in June: Pride Dinosaurs