Family of Voices

Evolving Identities

The issue of "was I Chilean and then American," or "American and then Chilean" was probably something that was discussed in the waiting room as I was waiting to be born by my sets of grandparents. [more...]

I really see myself today more American than anything else. And the reason is not because of my past; it's because of my future. [more...]

Personally, I feel that I’m a "bridge person," having been on the board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation since the early ‘70s as the first Hispanic member. [more...]

We speak Moroccan with the kids… We don't want to lose that richness; it's a piece of DNA that we carry with us, and we want to keep it because we believe it makes us stronger. [more...]

One of the things that I like to teach our children is Korean heritage…. There are a lot of traditions that should be preserved, and I like to be part of that tradition and help the next generation. [more...]

I think one of the biggest things that we feel with our children is that we still have a mindset of how we were brought up, and the values and the cultures. But since these children grew up in this country, there’s sort of a clash of those things. [more...]

When I decided to become a citizen, the ultimate, final decision was when I went to France for Christmas with my wife and children. I went 'home' for Christmas with my family. And when I arrived there I realized “home” was not Saint-Saëns, France; it was Bedford, New York. [more...]

I remember first going to Holland and it seeming slightly odd speaking Dutch to people on the street that I wasn't connected with. [more...]

When it comes to professional life, when being very professional, high integrity and honesty, a lot comes from the American aspect of life. And when it comes to really day to day giving and taking, a lot of the Indian life, so kind of balancing at each level. I guess it really doesn't matter—American or Indian—but how you apply yourself. [more...]

I don’t want to go back. I definitely see myself as more American. [more...]

I love this country, [and] I love Italy. I love the art, I love the food, you know, the passion. I love both cultures [more...]

I identified myself as an American well before I became a citizen of the United States, whereas my wife identifies herself as a Swiss and has never changed her citizenship. [more...]

In school, friends of mine called me “The Greek,” because of my name, and I was always proud of my heritage. But I was not going to put it on my lapel and say, “I’m Greek.” [more...]

As a businesswoman, I am both American and Venezuelan. I have Venezuelan human values of openness and inclusiveness, Venezuelan hopes, and a Venezuelan sense of possibility. But, I'm very American in my sense of ethical values, the power of education, meritocracy, my sense of responsibility, and self- reliance. [more...]

I struggled being around them and I got used to being different and then one day, later being a foreigner when I came to the U.S.  I was different because I was younger, I was different because I didn’t have a French last name, I was different for so many reasons and I ended up reconciling myself with the fact that maybe I’ll be different the rest of my life. [more...]

On September 11, 2001, when the twin towers collapsed, I was at Heathrow Airport and grounded for three days. Our plane was the first flight to arrive at SFO, and standing beside the taxi runway were hundreds of U.S. employees waving and welcoming us back. It was a very special feeling of coming home. I really felt American on that day. [more...]

I practice a religion call Sikhism. Sikhs are known for their bravery. Sikhism believes in one higher power and one higher consciousness and that everyone is equal. This is essentially the same as American values. [more...]

When I dream here, I dream in English but when I go back to Lebanon, I dream in Arabic. Politically and economically, I feel very American. I believe in freedom and the democratic spirit of fair play, freedom of the speech and religion. [more...]

Beyond that, I would say I am American [and] very proud of it. I tried to teach my children and grandchildren how lucky they are to be born here. I do have a Jewish identity. It's not a religious identity; it's more a cultural identity. [more...]

Being an American for me is about the equal opportunities; at least, that's what we fight for. In a lot of countries, it doesn't matter how smart you are, how hard you work, you just cannot become successful if you don't come from the right family. [more...]

There is a lot of me that identifies with Chinese culture, but I feel my value system, both the way I view ethics and the way I do business, is uniquely American. The idea that I can be an immigrant from a middle-class family, start a business, and have the kind of opportunities that we've had—there's no place else in the world. [more...]

I consider myself an American with a global mindset. I'm lucky to have lived in Great Britain, Uganda, Canada, and the United States, so I have a worldly perspective. [more...]

I don't associate with Chinese communities except Chinese food, so therefore I'm much more integrated as an American.  [more...]

As my mother helped me get dressed [for school], she told me that we were the first Chinese family in this town. She said, “If you are stupid, they will think all Chinese are stupid, and you have sisters coming behind you.” I was nine years old. That was the last day of my childhood…From that day forward, I took on the role as representative for my family, my community, my country, and my race! [more...]