All About Inky

graphic credit @corgidolls

Hello everyone! My name is Inky and this is my blog. I'm 10 years old and I live in both New York City and Toronto with my two moms. I'm unschooled, which means I don't attend traditional school. My learning is self-guided! My family travels a lot; we value learning about other cultures and ways of knowing.

Inky with Lenin statue

My family spends a lot of time in Ukraine, a country in Eastern Europe that is part of the former Soviet Union (USSR). One of my moms lived there when she was a kid and my family goes back often to visit our family there. Due to Mama's connection to eastern Ukraine, she speaks Russian! In fact, her connection to Russian culture led my parents to adopt me when I was a toddler. I am from an Indigenous ethnic group in Far East Russia called the Nanai (they also live in China, where they are called Hezhe people). I was born in a city called Khabarovsk and adopted by my parents. One of the most important things I brought with me to North America from Russia is my name. My full name is Marina, but I like to be called Inky.

Inky at Lincoln Center

I love living in New York City. Even when my family is not traveling, we experience many different cultures around our city. I have friends nearby from all over the world! When we first moved to New York City, I studied ballet very seriously. I even performed with a famous ballet company in some of their children's roles! After a few years, I decided that I wasn't finding joy in dancing so seriously. I decided to stop taking lessons and performing, but I still LOVE ballet! I love watching my friends perform and going to theatres in Lincoln Center to see ballets.

Inky at El Malpais National Monument

One of my favorite types of adventure is visiting National Park Service (NPS) sites, the public lands of the United States. The National Park Service has a program where kids can become NPS Junior Rangers by completing activity booklets about the different sites and and attending ranger programs.  Kids are rewarded for their work with badges, patches, and certificates. I love learning about the world through National Park Service sites and I am proud to be a Junior Ranger at many, many different NPS sites. In fact, I am determined to become an interpretive park ranger when I grow up!

Inky and Violet on Fire Island

My friendships are the best parts of my life. My best friend in the whole world is Violet. She lives in Utah, so we don't see one another very often- but when we do, it's as if we have never been apart. We even travel together, all over the world!

Inky's New Year at Lincoln Center

My family is secular humanist, which means we are not religious. I participate in traditional Indigenous lifeways with my parents, but we are not members of a formal religion. We celebrate some holidays, like Easter, in cultural ways, but we do not believe in a higher powers like gods or goddesses. During the winter holiday period, we celebrate secular New Year! Since my family has a strong Slavic influence, we decorate a fir tree with ornaments for New Year and eat holiday foods at that time instead of celebrating a different holiday, like Christmas or Hanukkah.

Happy Pride 2017

I'm proud to be from a family with two moms. My parents are raising me to be respectful of all people, aware of my privilege, and kind to everyone. Sometimes it can feel hard to have two moms because people make unkind or cruel comments. I work hard to remember that their rudeness is a reflection of their ignorance and not a reflection of me or my family. 

Sochi Olympics 2014

I'm proud to have many intersecting identities. I am Asian, I am Indigenous, I am an adoptee, I am part of the LGBTQ community, I am unschooled, and I am both a New Yorker and a Torontonian. Most importantly? I'm me, Inky - and I am always growing and learning!

Razor Scooter time!

I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Please feel free to leave me any questions and I will answer them as well as I can!

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