Growing up, I never really got any particular favoritism for being Asian. However, the belief that Asians are gifted academically earned me a lot of friends at school. On the other hand, when attending school, some of my school mates would sometimes make some prejudiced comments against me, based on my race. For example, some would call me “yellow-skin”. I particularly remember one boy who would always pull his eyes at the corners to make them look slanted, whenever he saw me. Although these were actions performed by children, I came to think of all white people as unaccommodating and rude. In the same school, there were some African-Americans who would get violently physical with anyone who made racially biased remarks against them. To date, I still hold the opinion that African-Americans are confrontational and aggressive.
In my family, religion plays a very fundamental role in our relationships with each another and as such, my family practices Catholicism as our chosen religion. Being Catholic Vietnamese, my family adheres to some of the rituals that have been practiced by Vietnamese people for decades. For example, every late January or early February, my family celebrates the “Lunar New Year”, just like everyone celebrates New Year, by asking God for forgiveness for the mistakes of the past year and asking for His guidance in the fresh year. As is the case with most other Vietnamese who are Catholics, my family celebrates the feast of “Our Lady of La Vang” to honor saints and adheres to the Legion of Mary teachings.
Following Catholic faith, my parents believe that it is their duty to establish social security in the family by educating us, helping us choose careers and sometimes, spouses. Generally, we are a very close-knit family, where problems are shared among family members and where we place God at the centre of our lives. In addition, our parents have taught us to be hardworking and respectful towards our elders,