How I Find A Sense Of Family With My Asian American Friends

It is to the unfortunate point that every morning we wake up in the morning there is a new story about an old Asian American woman getting beaten, a young black one with a gun point to his head, and the list goes on. Despite race and skin color as a human race what unites us is our value system. What does it matter if someone is from a different upbringing and ethnicity, when our deeply engraved value system matches up. As I get older, I keep coming back to the realization that I am a product of my environment and the pieces in my environment that ultimately make an influence on me are the values shared by me and the people I love, whether it be family or friends. When our values align together there is a sense of comradery and urge to be honest.

friends with arms around each other Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash Coming to UCLA from southern OC was a huge cultural shock. I came from the OC bubble, where everyone was the “same” and there was a major lack of originality. My high school environment was essentially superficial, but UCLA is nothing like this. I met such a diverse group of people and I am thankful and lucky to say that the group I met have been a major part of my UCLA family. This is primarily because our life and cultural values line up with each other. When people share the same value system, especially among friends or significant others, the bond becomes more precious and sacred in a way. As I am reflecting on this, I cannot help but to think about my Asian American friends that I met at UCLA. They are my roommates and my best friends and I can easily say my life would not be the same without them. A big reason why we are so close and honest and rarely get into any disagreements is not only because we listen and care about each other, but because our upbringing and cultural backgrounds plays an indirect role in it. The understanding is almost innate. 

I am not the type of person who enjoys trying new things, talking about new topics, or eating new food. My Asian American friends have taught me to not only be proud of my own culture, but to appreciate others and the new around me. I am now more willing and open to delving into new traditions apart from my own and understanding the background of different ethnicities consistently around me. In a weird way, when my Asian American friends call their family and friends and speak in their native tongue I am soothed. It reminds me that I am able to do the same with my own family in Farsi without fearing judgment of others or getting constantly asked “Were you talking about me? Wait what were you saying?”. Rather there is an unspoken understanding between us. 

three silhouettes in the middle of the road Photo by Karina Lago from Unsplash My friends and their different backgrounds have helped shape me into the young woman I am today. The sense of inclusion and unknowingness that come together as a product of such special friendships is something that I am forever grateful for. The United States, the place many of us call home, has been termed as a “melting pot” throughout history and let the term have a legacy, rather than spreading hate, prompting a racist ideology and having an unwarranted sense of supremacy.