Nicholas Nguyen

Interviewer: Hey everyone, today, I’m gonna be interviewing Nick Nguyen, and he’s gonna be telling us a little bit about his experience being Asian-American, so Nick, what is your full name?

Nick: My name is Nicholas Nguyen, I use he/him pronouns and I’m from Savage, MN

INT: Do you have any other names that are not in English?

N: My middle name is Nyan, which is Vietnamese but my friends and family call me Nick.

INT: Got it, and can you tell us a story about the place you grew up in, how was Savage, MN?

N: Savage was a typical white suburban community around 15 miles from MSP and I grew up there. I went to school in Bloomington in Jefferson High which was a public school. The community was very friendly to me. It was very white though I didn’t interact with many POC there but in Bloomington I was able to have many friends from many races, but the majority of them were still white.

INT: That’s great, can you share a meaningful experience that represents your cultural background?

N: Sure yeah, Are you talking about an experience at home or elsewhere?

INT: I think probably anytime growing up, whether home, school, or elsewhere.

N: For sure, I felt like I was celebrating my cultural heritage when I celebrated Chinese New Year with my parents. That was always a nice tradition, it was always sometime in spring. I don’t remember, I think it changes every year, but it was a wonderful way to have the family get together chat with relatives back home and enjoy some nice food.

INT: Yeah, wait, so you said the date of Lunar New Year would change?

N: Yeah

INT: Yeah, to me, it’s still a mystery to me how they decide it. I know it’s the Lunar calendar, but I’d be lying if I said I understood the Lunar calendar. I guess that puts the American part in Asian-American… 

INT: But lastly, what advice would you give to other AAPI students who are struggling to connect with their cultural heritage while at college.

N: Well I think- look, connecting with your cultural heritage is important, but I think there’s value in connecting with other communities as well and learning others’ cultural heritage. I’ve tried to connect with many of my peers here and learn more about their cultural heritage but when you start to connect with your own cultural heritage, I think connecting back home with your family is important. It’s a way of maintaining that familial connection. I also think enjoying food that may resemble what you grew up eating is something that’s very important as well it’s a great way of feeling your heritage, y’know. Food is a universal thing that’s made with lots of love. 

INT: That’s really true, anything else you want to say?

N: Who is this interview for?

INT: This is mostly just to display how Asian-American students at Carleton view themselves and their thoughts

N: Carleton does a really good job with having a lot of community networks which you can connect with your own [group] with. There are lots of specific groups for specific ethnicities, but regardless of your heritage, you will find people at Carleton that you can connect with.

INT: Well, thanks for coming on the show Nick!