Channbunmorl Sou, 30’s
I am a database manager for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
My family came to Portland, OR in November of 1984 and I was born in April of 1985. Like many Khmer families, we came as refugees.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
In my experience, the strength is that we as Khmer people get super excited when we see other Khmer people. It is like this joy and pride that we have when we see each other.
The challenges are a lot. One of the challenges is that we are still living on a survival mode mindset which impacts our health, education and economic outcome. I have more but hopefully we can talk about it on your podcast in the future.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Some of my proudest accomplishments were being the first person in my entire family's history to graduate from college and then going on to earn my Master's degree.
Spending time with my family and saying “I love you” after we hang up. We come from a fractured family unit but we had overcome so many obstacles as a family that we now regularly say “I love you” to each other.
Being able to pursue my dream in the food and entertainment industry. My sister and I have started a Khmer Lemongrass seasoning company together where we are providing the foundation to authentic Khmer cooking. I am really proud that we are representing our community.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
I learned to not waste food and appreciate the struggle because without this, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I also appreciate my parent’s willingness to continue their effort to live for us because there were many occasions where they have come so close to death.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
I do speak Khmer. I grew up watching dubbed Chinese and Thai movies and it helped me improve my Khmer language skills.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
To know that we matter and that it is okay for us to take space. We don’t have to compromise our cultural identity in order to accommodate white folks with comfortability.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Cooking, fighting for racial justice, my relationship with my family, specifically my nephews. To me, they are also like my kids.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
You can go to my YouTube channel. My Sou Family Recipes website. Instagram and Facebook: @soufamilyrecipes.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
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