Kevin Tran

Interviewer: What is your full name and pronouns?

Kevin Tran: Hi! My name is Kevin Tran, I use He/Him/His pronouns. I am a junior SOAN major, so yay we will be graduating together next year!

INT: Do I have any other names not in English?

KT: This one is actually a bit of a funny question because actually, I did not have a Vietnamese name growing up. And it wasn’t until I think until was in second or third grade when I started going to a Vietnamese school because my parents forced me to, obviously. That is when I finally got a made-up Vietnamese name that my parents made. It is not the best, so it is Trần Anh Khoa, which basically they took my last name and coupled it together with like two other parts of a name!

INT: Tell us a story about…A tradition

KT: One of my favorite traditions is celebrating Lunar New Year. It is, I think, one of my favorite holidays mainly because (a) it is a time with family. I really do wish it could become a national holiday because if it was a national holiday, I think a lot of people would be able to take time off and lowkey I think having a holiday where you can spend time off and spend time with family and eat is always great. So one of my favorite traditions I like to do with my family is always like buy a lot of food and enjoy it together after we pray and all that. And then we also love to go to the temple, and getting a red packet of money was always one of my favorites because it basically built up my life savings, so I think just giving gifts out during Lunar New Year, like the red envelopes for like prosperity and luck and also just being able to eat with family and friends. So ya, I think that has been a fun tradition!

INT: What advice would you give to other AAPI students who may be struggling to connect with their cultural heritage while in college?

KT: I will also say that the last biggest piece of advice I can offer is to give yourself time, and grace, and some space, and maybe some intellectual brain energy to go ahead and kind of explore if you are curious. If you are curious about your cultural heritage in college, allow yourself to explore it. I feel like we are always are so wrapped up in what we have to do as in our day-in and day-out area of focus for study that we don’t let ourselves like intellectually explore and just have fun. So giving yourself the time and grace to just try and explore your cultural heritage, even if it is maybe like you know maybe 5 minutes or just like a quick YouTube or like Instagram or like whatever type of media you fancy search about your heritage your cultural heritage and follow it. Don’t deny yourself that drive of curiosity and that also applies to non-Carleton students as well. For non-Carleton students, I would say ya try your best to also find classes that support your identities, and you know, even if there is not a class that doesn’t directly talk about AAPI identity definitely finding and reaching out to those cultural orgs and like find students who are in place in those institutional supports can help. If you also have the capacity and bandwidth for it also being your own advocate and trying to strive for those classes or at least start your own classes to support your own AAPI identity. Or even opening up discussions with admin and like other people in power at institutions can also help as well.