Thetraveljunkie.org – This year, I did what million people from all over the world have done and surrendered my spit to a home DNA-testing company. I hoped an AncestryDNA test would bring me the peace I needed; my Javanese family had never been able to give me any information about our family tree. I’d always longed for a country to attribute my brownness to, or for help answering the ubiquitous “Where are you from?” question. I’d spent years making up exotic-sounding combinations to justify my appearance (some days Javanese-Japanese-Swedish; other days half Polynesia, or half New Caledonian).
AncestryDNA looked at the first DNA sample that I sent in and reported back that my results is not successfully process. Then, on 1st April in Melbourne, I sent off second DNA samples to AncestryDNA in Australia.
In second time, I sent my spit over to Ancestry to see what the company could tell me about my heritage. My AncestryDNA kit arrived in the mail in a small box the size of a hardcover book.
When I opened it up, I found a collection tube (and a bag to seal it in once I was done), a set of instructions, and a smaller box to send it all back in.
After a few minutes of dutifully spitting into the collection tube, I was ready to get my sample ready to ship. Following the kit’s directions, I placed a special cap on my tube designed to release a chemical solution (the blue stuff on the top) to get — and keep — my spit in tip-top shape for sequencing.
Once that was done, I placed it into the bag, packed it up in the box, and it was off on its way to Ancestry’s labs in Australia.
At now, I was done with occupying a box of brown ambiguity. Could I finally get a clear answer?
The results arrived by email on 4th May this month. I clicked on the “ethnicity estimate” link, which offers an analysis of DNA by country, my heart pounding as I scanned the digital map.
Here’s what the results looked like on a map. The results showed that my brownness comes from Southeast Asia: 90% of my DNA, in fact. Then there’s 8% Philippines, and 2% Vietnam.
Then, I learned this about myself: I’m not 100% a Javanese anymore than I thought! The rest of my ancestors probably also lived in Philippines and Vietnam — though who really knows where. So the results weren’t super surprising to me with details of “ethnicity estimate”.
Stay tuned for more of our isolation in Australia.
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