‘Explaining that I’m Vietnamese, it’s kind of hard’

Naomi Bergman, freshman on her Vietnamese-Jewish upbringing

Ava Stark and Alli Wang, Staff writer

I’m Vietnamese, and a lot of Vietnamese people are Catholic. So having identified that I was Jewish, or in a more Jewish setting, trying to explain to people that I was Vietnamese, it’s kind of hard sometimes.

It’s been pretty prevalent for me because on my dad’s side, they’re all Jewish, so just growing up with the people I did, especially since I went to a Jewish Day School from K through eight. It’s just, really a part of me, and without it I don’t think I’d be the same person.

For my art class last year, I made a piece speaking on social injustices within the community. It meant a lot because I got to speak about what I’ve faced and I got to interview other people about what they faced and I think that’s very important. It was a project about microaggressions so like small things in like our daily life that we experienced, like jokes that seemed just like a bit hurtful, but are really actually racist. And other things like that are just things that we don’t usually realize. But if you look back on it, they’re actually not okay. They’re not just jokes and stuff, or small remarks.