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  • Emily Pan

Young Asian American Voices

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Paso Robles High School students Serenity Wulfing and Elidia Chavez in Mr. Geoffrey Land's ethnic studies class interviewed local Asian American students to hear about how they celebrate their cultural heritage. Below are some snapshots of what these Asian American students had to say.

1. Kalani Gaviola

- Filipino

- 3rd generation

- “We celebrate our heritage through food. Sometimes when we visit my Lola we wear Filipino clothes, make food, and participate in Filipino traditions. We go to church with our Lola. One thing in particular is giving mano, which is when you approach an elder Filipino you show respect to them by touching their hand and saying amen. Because Filipinos are very catholic because we were colonized by Spain."

2. Mathew Thaisuriya

- Cambodian, Lao, Thai

- 1st generation

- “I would go to the Buddhist temple up north and I would celebrate a lot of holidays or I would celebrate at home. But normally I'm pretty in

touch with my culture but not as much as say another first-generation Asian.”

3. Brandon Nguyen

- Vietnamese

- 1st Generation

- “I celebrate my heritage by having gatherings together and just all having fun together and creating dishes from Vietnam so we can all enjoy together. I also speak fluently in Vietnamese to my family at home.”

4. Drais Thai

- Vietnamese

- 2nd generation

- “We celebrate our heritage by having Asian ancestry parties to remember our grandparents.”

5. Devon Kinder

- Filipino

- 2nd Generation

- “My family celebrates our heritage through food. So we often cook

many Filipino dishes, like adobo, sinigang, lumpia, etc."

6. Raphaelle Fuentes

- Filipino

- 3rd generation

- “Typically I celebrate my heritage through many community gatherings,

especially during holidays. Visiting my family in the Philipines, Davao

we do more traditions here."

7. Quinn Kobayashi

- Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Mexican

- 2nd Generation

- “To celebrate my heritage, on New Year’s Day my dad's side of the

family has a Japanese-style New Year's gathering that includes us

eating many foods to give us a year full of luck, prosperity, fortune, etc.”

8. Kaela Tran

- Vietnamese

- 1st generation

- “Even though my family has spread out in California, we always make

an effort to come together and celebrate cultural holidays at my

grandparent's house. I love them since it’s a family reunion of some

sort and there’s a lot of good food. We also speak a lot of Vietnamese

in my household daily and love cooking Vietnamese dishes every other


9. Alivia Vogtman

- 99.9% Chinese

- First Generation American: Adopted from China when she was 9

months old

- “Every year, I go up to San Francisco to watch the Chinese New Year

parade and get really good Chinese food.”



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