Feb 24, 2011
By Stephenie “Remedi” Lai, Staff Writer
It’s February, the shortest month of the year. But even with less time, there is much to be celebrated during these 28 days. No, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about Black History Month. It’s a month to remember where you came from and a time to embrace your heritage. This February, in conjunction with Black History Month, our own sisters take the time to reminisce on their background.
Being a part of an Asian-interest sorority, of course you would expect everyone to be Asian. However, our sisters come from all parts of the world. Even more so, there are many sisters who have mixed backgrounds, giving them even more to embrace.
UGA sisters Holly “Forté” Kamau and Jessica “Inertia” Wu described their experiences being of mixed backgrounds. Kamau is Kenyan and Vietnamese, while Wu is Taiwanese and Caucasian. When asked about what it was like to grow up with two cultures, Kamau said, “I was raised in a way that embraced all parts of me. This includes African, African-American – which is different from African – Asian and American.” At dinner, you could find food from three different cultures: Vietnamese, Kenyan and American. She believes that her upbringing was a genuine mix of cultures.
Wu’s experience growing up was quite different. She said, “I was raised more towards the American/Caucasian culture. My mother emigrated here from Taiwan, but my exposure to Asian culture was extremely limited.” When Wu entered high school, she started becoming more aware of her Asian background.
They both agreed that being apart of Delta Phi Lambda has helped them become more in touch with their Asian heritage. Not only that, but there are many cultures under the umbrella term of “Asian,” giving more opportunities to share traditions and customs with one another.
Being a sister of Delta Phi Lambda has given Kamau a “better understanding of the richness of the Asian culture as it stands on its own.” For Wu, the sorority was the gateway to understanding her heritage in the search for her cultural identity. Wu added, “The different backgrounds that exist within one sorority shows me that multiple facets of a single identity can co-exist and thrive.”
Although this month is Black History Month, it doesn’t hurt to reflect on your own identity. Like the old saying goes, you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been. Knowing your background, remembering your ancestors and loving your heritage is a big step in creating a successful and happy future for yourself.