Nolita Noeuv, 20’s
San Diego, CA
Current Roles: Care-Provider, Marketing Assistant, Permanent Make-Up Artist and Eyelash Technician
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Tell us about your family story.
Both my maternal and paternal family came to the U.S. in the 1980's after the Cambodian genocide. My parents settled in San Diego, where I was born and raised. I have an older sister, Amira, who was also featured in this blog and a guest speaker for the 2 Khmerican Sisters podcast.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian/Asian American?
One of the challenges of being Asian/Asian-American is dealing with the false narrative behind the model minority. I have also been seeing a lot of social media posts depicting the rise in racial crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans which is due because of the xenophobic and anti-Asian diction that the Trump administration would spew. Ultimately, both the idea of model minority and anti-Asian rhetoric is contradictory and ends up pitting people of all races against each other.
As an Asian-American, I think one of our strengths is our diversity. Asia is the largest continent and therefore, there is so much diversity in our traditions, culture, and even history.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is being a care-provider. Shortly after my 19th birthday, my mom became very ill and I took on the responsibility of caring for her and running a household while also going to university full time. It definitely was not easy, but I feel like I have learned a lot and grew so much as a person and I am proud of the ways I would rise above the struggles.
I am also proud of becoming certified as a permanent make-up artist and a eyelash extension technician. I love learning and doing new things and I feel like that learning these trades fulfilled that part of me.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
Ever since I was young, I remember my parents stressing the importance of being independent. As a result, my sister and I have always worked hard to provide so that we will always be able to maintain our independence, no matter what happens. Education was also heavily emphasized in our household as well. I learned to read at a really young age, and my dad would enforce a schedule with his own assigned work for my sister and I because he felt that the U.S. education system could be improved. While my dad's system of teaching my sister and I from home was flawed, I do appreciate the fact that it has played a role in my drive for learning.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes, but not fluently at all. I notice when I am speaking to my parents, I am able to speak more smoothly than when I am speaking Khmer to someone I'm not too familiar with.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our communities?
My advice to the younger generation would be to be kinder to yourself. Oftentimes, I feel like people can be so mean and critical to themselves which can end up being damaging. I also think it is so important to take care of your mental health and I highly advocate seeking professional counseling and building a strong support system because humans are social creatures and it is important to not feel alone.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
What gives me the greatest joy is seeing my hard work progress. I mean this in all aspects of my life as well - I have seen progress in all my relationships becoming stronger and better because I have evolved and progressed as a person. I have seen immense progress in my work as a PMU artist and lash technician because I practice so much. I have literally stayed up until 4am just practicing because I really want my clients to love the results. Sometimes it is hard to see how far I have come because I am constantly stressing about the future, but looking back and even from a present point of view, I feel like I have evolved so much as a person.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
Nolita's Laboratory: Lashes + Brows.
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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