Kimi Kaneshina, 20’s
Los Angeles, CA
Current Role: Marketing in Tech
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican.
Tell us about your family story.
My mom’s mother came to the United States when she was in her early 20's from Hong Kong. My great-grandfather on my dad’s side came over from Hiroshima (date unknown) and my great-grandmother on my dad’s side had my grandmother here in the States after coming over from Mexico when she was older. I was born in Southern California where I currently live.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican?
Strengths: Being able to understand and relate to other ethnicities and my fellow mixed-peers.
Challenges: Being a second/fourth generation race means the ties to my culture are weaker than my first-generation peers.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is running my first half marathon. I ran in my neighborhood throughout high school, but the furthest I had ever run was probably 3 miles. Going into college, I knew I wanted to challenge myself to go further, so I started training for a half marathon. The whole experience was so rewarding, so I’m glad that I did it! And I have continued to enjoy running and register for other running events.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
I appreciate having exposure to different ethnicities, and their corresponding food, culture, and language.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes and no. I took Mandarin in high school for three years, so I can remember a few words, but cannot put full sentences together. I took Japanese in college for three years and studied abroad in Japan in a fully immersive language program. Through this experience, I was able to become quite conversationally fluent. But I haven’t been able to routinely practice the language for 1.5 years. Currently, I’m learning Cantonese casually from my grandmother. I’m still far from being fluent, but I’ve enjoyed the process! I love learning languages because it connects you to other cultures and it is such a challenging, but rewarding experience.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Don’t wait 'til you’re older to learn more about and appreciate your culture. It’s so much harder to get those everyday insights about your family’s history when you’re away from home. So, try to soak up as much as you can when you’re younger!
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Being outdoors in nature, laughing with my friends and family, spending time with my loving partner, and eating yummy, homemade food.
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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