Ahoy there! A month ago, I had the pleasure of virtually meeting a new follower, Stephanie @ Roses and Brimstone – A Little Heart with Extraordinary Passion! She wrote about her cultural background in a post called Ethnicity Tag which was fun and fascinating for me to read.
She was curious to learn where I came from and linked where she got her questions: 50+ Ethnicity Tag Questions. (Fortunately for you, I will not answer all 50 of them!) The site describes the distinction between race and ethnicity.
A few days ago, mom expressed to me how she was afraid of me “losing my heritage” (which I will describe another day). Since there are some new folks here, I thought this blog post would dive into a bit of that and perhaps share a little bit about me!
1.Which ethnicity do you belong to?
I am ethnically American and Vietnamese, and classified as Asian. I was born in Texas in the United States. My parents and my grandparents are from Qui Nhon, Vietnam, a beautiful coastal city. My 23&Me DNA results shows that my ancestors are from China/Vietnam region. 🙂
2. Which food represents your ethnicity?
There is such a variety in Vietnamese cuisine. Rice dishes are a staple. Pho is a famous dish that many people in America have had a chance to try. I keep mentioning it in past posts. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend you do so!
3. Which ethnic language are you perfect in?
Vietnamese is a tonal language and are distinguished by three main dialects which can be classified by region: North (Hanoi), South (Ho Chi Minh City), Central (Hue). Around 80 million people in the world speak Vietnamese and is in the top 20 most spoken languages. It has many Chinese and French influences. It used to written in Chinese letters, but now uses the Latin alphabet.
I wouldn’t describe it as perfect, but I spent a good chunk of my life studying the dialect from South-Central Vietnam. I can read, write, and speak it. However, I would consider myself at a limited proficiency level in Vietnamese. I am most fluent in English and enjoy the nuances of the language. I enjoyed studying English literature in college.
4. Do you have any ethnic name?
I go by many names: Sally, Lisa, but my ethnic name is Sa! Vietnamese parents typically like to name their daughters after lovely flowers or beautiful sentiments. It directly translates to silky gossamer. Combined with other other words, it can mean a host of things. (ie- kieu sa = lovely)
5. Which phrase of your ethnic language is your favorite?
- Bạn khỏe không (Ban Kwe Khom) = How are you?
- Cảm ơn (kahm uhn) = Thank you!
The following proverb is something I enjoy:
- Đi một ngày đàng học một sàng khôn. = A day of travelling will bring a basket full of learning.
6. Which clothes represent your ethnicity?
On special occasions such as Vietnamese holidays and weddings, I wear the traditional, gorgeous ao dai. I love the new modern styles that are coming out! If you want to view the glitz and glamorous side of Vietnamese fashion that’s trending, you can watch a renowned variety show called: Paris by Night.
7. Which drink represents your ethnicity?
A few distinctive favorite drinks that I grew up with are: jasmine/green tea, coconut juice, soybean milk, grass jelly drink, sugar cane drink.
8. Which specific jewelry represents your culture?
Popular pieces are typically made of jade or gold. Images of dragons, Buddhas, crosses are common. Some of my favorite cultural pieces include: earrings, beaded peace bracelets, necklaces.
My favorite American pieces are Pandora charm bracelets or floating charm locket necklaces.
9. Which sport represents your ethnicity?
Vovinam, Dragon dance, dragon boat racing, cow racing, wrestling
10. Which ethnic song do I often listen to?
I’m a sucker for Korean dramas. They’re humorous, heart-breaking, or soul lifting. I just finished this Chinese drama remake called Meteor Garden. Though I have some qualms about the series, I enjoyed it. This beautiful song is not Vietnamese, but lately I’ve been listening to the entire soundtrack on replay.