Firda Amalia Herryanddhy, 30’s
Seattle, WA/Chicago, IL
Current Role: Mama, mentor, and learner
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 father came to the States in the early 90's. My mother, my little brother, and I followed suit in August of 1996. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and was raised in Southern California and Western Washington.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
I think we, as a community (Indonesian-Americans and Asian-Americans in general), have a lot to offer to America. We are comprised of such eclectic, diverse, multi-cultural, multi-faceted, and multi-talented groups of individuals. We are entertainers, doctors, engineers, caregivers, teachers, organizers, government representatives, scientists, athletes, scholars, and more. There is definitely strength in numbers. Some challenges that I still see facing some of our communities is colorism.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have two. One of my proudest accomplishments is allowing myself to step out of my comfort zone and take on the journey of becoming a mother. My daughter is two years old and she has already compelled me to go on a soul search, which brings me to my second proudest accomplishment thus far: Working through the healing process from intergenerational trauma. Every step I take towards healing is an accomplishment.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
The sense of structure. My father immigrated to the States in the hopes of providing a better quality of life for his family, so everything he sought out to accomplish was in the best interest for his family, even if it meant his sacrificing a lot of his own dreams. He was very intentional in that regard. And that intention allowed for that structure and foundation to be built for my brothers and I growing up. I intend to construct a similar structure for my daughter (and perhaps, my other future kids).
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
I speak sufficient Indonesian to carry a regular conversation with my family members (parents and relatives overseas). I also comprehend written Indonesian. I understand bits and pieces of Sundanese (regional language spoken in parts of West Java, Central Java, and Banten Province, Indonesia) from what I picked up when I was 7 years old living in Indonesia. My mother has always stressed the importance of preserving our Mother Tongue. It's a legacy that I want to pass on to my own daughter.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Show up and don't be afraid to take up space. If you're the only Asian American or Pacific Islander in the room, let yourself be heard and be of contribution. You deserve to be there just as much as anyone else, whether it be to amplify your own voice or to help amplify others'.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Accomplishing my goals and seeing my loved ones happy and peaceful.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
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!
Want to share your voice?
To be featured, read the directions and fill out this form. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome.
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Firda Amalia Herryanddhy
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