Conversations with Our AAPI Squad

XO QUAY

Conversations with Our AAPI Squad

Reflections: AAPI Heritage Month  

Explore how we honored, celebrated and supported our AAPI community this month. 

 

Anh Truong 

Of all your cultural traditions, which one means the most to you? Why? 

 As a Vietnamese, my cultural traditions vary in importance in different ways. The most meaningful one to me is called Tết Nguyên Đán, which is also referred to as the Spring Festival or Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It is festival celebrating, “the First Morning of the First Day,” and my family celebrates it for 3 days. I adore this cultural tradition because it brings together grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews and other relatives to catch up and simply enjoy each other’s presence. 

How do you celebrate your culture? 

One way we celebrate is with special red envelopes that bring us luck every year! A blessing is said to the person giving away a red envelope, so you can imagine how many blessings that is... 

What’s one thing about your culture you think people from other backgrounds would find surprising/fun? 

One thing I think that people from other backgrounds would find fun in my culture is the Tết Nguyên Đán celebration. From family gatherings and exotic foods, to lion dancing and firecrackers bursting (not to mention what it takes to host such an event), to all the memories made along the way... Tết Nguyên Đán is the event of the year and a wonderful tradition I always look forward to!  

You’re able to time travel back to any point in your culture’s history. What time period would you travel back to? Why? 

If I were to travel back to any point in my cultural history, I would want to travel back to before COVID happened. I believe history happens the way it does for a reason and would love to preserve the traditions passed on. I appreciate every moment of my culture and miss when my family could gather together and enjoy our days of the new year.  

 

Adesha Yee 

Of all your cultural traditions, which one means the most to you? Why? 

The one that means the most to me are family Chinese banquets. Food is such an important part of bringing my family together and learning about my heritage. 

How do you celebrate your culture? 

I celebrate my culture through cooking. When I was a little girl, my Grandpa would take me grocery shopping in Oakland’s Chinatown and afterwards, we’d use the ingredients to cook a traditional Chinese dish. Since then, cooking has become my favorite thing to do in my free time. Every time I cook, it’s a celebration of my culture and what my Grandpa taught me. 

What’s one thing about your culture you think people from other backgrounds would find surprising/fun? 

When my grandpa immigrated to America, he had to take another last name. So, “Yee” is not my real Chinese last name; my original last name is “Chin.” 

You’re able to time travel back to any point in your culture’s history. What time period would you travel back to? Why? 

 If I could, I would travel back to when my grandfather immigrated to America from China. I would love to fully understand the hardships and challenges he faced and overcame to bring our family here today. 

 

 Brittany Suzuki 

Of all your cultural traditions, which one means the most to you? Why? 

Besides Chinese New Year, I really enjoy Tomb Sweeping Day. It’s usually a day in April where my family visits those who have passed to pay respects. This usually comes in the form of cleaning the headstones, putting in fresh flowers and sometimes eating dim sum. It’s a nice way to remember our loved ones as a family. 

How do you celebrate your culture? 

Many ways, but I love Chinese New Year! There’s amazing food and it’s a chance to be with family. We usually like to go to Great China in Berkeley. 

What’s one thing about your culture you think people from other backgrounds would find surprising/fun? 

If you are married, you have to give all the single people money on Chinese New Year, lol. 

You’re able to time travel back to any point in your culture’s history. What time period would you travel back to? Why? 

My grandpa came in the late 40’s to San Francisco from China to give his family a better life. It wasn’t until years later that he earned enough money to have my grandma, uncle and aunt join him in 1950 and, once they did, they opened a laundry business in the Richmond district called Young Republic Laundry. I would LOVE to go back in time to see their business and San Francisco back in the day! 

 Education is Quay 

 We believe knowledge is the beginning of understanding. That’s why we circulated three of our favorite reads: to help others create inclusive work environments, reduce stigma and encourage psychological wellbeing. 

 

Hate is a Virus 

We invited Tristan Paule, Hate is a Virus’ VP of Development, to educate our squad about the organization and their work, as well as community and volunteer opportunities. 

Hate is a Virus Highlights:  

Who they are and what they do: Hate is a Virus exists to:  

  • Raise awareness around issues facing and stand in solidarity with the AAPI community  
  • Educate and equip the AAPI community with strategies to navigate hate and racism 
  • Fundraise for small, Asian-run businesses impacted by COVID-19 

Donation Distribution:  

  • 90% donations go to community organizations  
  • 10% go to #HateIsAVirus fund management 

Movement Milestone: 

  • Fundraised $1 million and counting 

How to get Involved:  

Want to learn more about Hate is a Virus? Click here.  

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