Naomi Fina

Interviewer: Today, I’m going to be talking with Naomi about her experience being Asian-American, so Naomi, do you have any non-English names?

Naomi: I don’t, although my middle name is Akiko, which is the feminized version of my grandfather’s name Akira

INT: Do you have a story growing up Asian-American? And do you feel like that impacted your childhood?

Naomi: I think it has had a pretty big impact on me. My maternal grandparents, who are both Japanese, were huge in my upbringing and so my favorite memories as a child were our family new year’s events. We’d celebrate Japanese New Years every Jan. 1st as a big family gathering, everyone would bring food and it’d be a really good opportunity to catch up and see people. It’s definitely a very different family gathering style than say a Caucasian gathering which I’ve also experienced since my father is white. Those traditions to me are something I hold very dearly and something I still value today.

INT: That’s great, and lastly, is there any advice you’d give to any Asian-American students who may be struggling to connect with their heritage at Carleton

Naomi: I think it can definitely be hard, being separated from family and friends who share your identity, and so I’d say there are a lot of great resources out there; events, opportunities and y’know, connecting through language can always happen. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a lot of AAPI friends here that are really important to me.

INT: Alright, thanks Naomi!