This week we talk about racialization: our different definitions of this term, how we have experienced racialization growing up in America, and more importantly our outlook given these experiences. Racialization is a very unique experience to everyone, and we found this to be true amongst ourselves and the stories that we shared this episode.
Hedda Hiếu: Racialization is a story that you learn because of the experiences you’ve had of other people telling you who you are and you should be. It’s a story you have to piece together on your own because no one has the master copy to tell you how to piece it together.
For some of us the experience of coming to terms with our racialized identity was more vivid in our minds, and for others it was a moment to celebrate our differences by inviting others to get curious about our Vietnamese culture.
Hương: “I've been kind of excited to be like, ‘Yeah, my parents are from Việt Nam, and I'm Vietnamese American. And, like, I get to tell you about it, right? Like, I get to be different.’”
We tell these stories because we didn’t have agency in telling them before, and may not have been able to process them with the tools we had then versus now. Moreover, we retell these stories to say we do belong as Vietnamese American. This perspective is something we want to carry forth as we reimagine our future as Vietnamese American in America.
When were times when you felt like other people’s perceptions of your identity interfered with or uplifted who you wanted to become?
Wherever you are in your journey, we acknowledge the struggles and blessings to get more acquainted with your identities. We are working to carve out the space for ourselves individually and together, and we appreciate you joining in to honor it too.
Growing Up Nguyễn is a story of four siblings holding onto our identity while fulfilling our parents’ dreams: the blessings and challenges of being Nguyễn in America.