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In the first grade, I told my classmates that one of my favorite foods was rice. One of my friends asked me why, and I responded, “Why not? Doesn’t everyone eat rice daily?”
It took me a while to realize that not everyone has Vietnamese cuisine for dinner regularly. I began to notice the cultural divides all around me, including the ones within my own family. I noticed how my father’s Caucasian family and my mother’s Vietnamese family never truly intermingled with one another. For example, I had two Christmases every year, one with my dad’s side of the family and one with my mother’s side. One in which I spoke English, the other in Vietnamese. I found myself suspended between two worlds.
However, as the years passed, I came to embrace the mixed heritage that set me apart and opened my eyes to all of our differences amongst our similarities. Intrigued by the diversity of the world, I seek to understand others and the worlds they come from. I enjoy learning about other cultures and traditions, and my life in the diverse Bay Area has only fueled this interest. In school, I found myself fascinated in French class, going home every day and struggling to read French news sites as my comprehension and understanding of the culture slowly improved. Ultimately, I realized that my ethnic background has been monumental in shaping my worldview. . . and in carving my desire to delve into the unknown.
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