AAPI Heritage Month Q&A Series: Sally Lee

AAPI Heritage Month commemorates Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders that have contributed to America’s rich history and success. Growing up as an Asian American/Pacific Islander can be considered a collective experience that can impact each an every one of us in a variety of ways. Our cultural identity shapes a facet of who we are and I am happy to be featuring a variety of strong voices that will share their experience as an Asian American/Pacific Islander in America. I hope that this series helps you connect with your own heritage and reminds you to be proud of where you come from!

I’m so happy to share my friend, Sally Lee’s experience with you. Sally is SUCH a gem of a person and I am so thankful that we met at a recent Bumble BFF event. She’s literally super stylish and genuine. I absolutely loved connecting with her and I am positive you will too!

Q: What ethnicity are you?

Korean American.

Q: Do you speak your language?


Q: Were you always proud of your heritage or did you initially reject it?

No, I wasn’t always proud of being Korean American. When I was really young, I rejected my heritage because it was different from everyone else’s at school and our traditions were different. At that time, all I wanted to do was be like everyone else.

Q: When did you begin to truly embrace your heritage and why? to truly embrace your heritage and why?

I began to truly appreciate and embrace my heritage once I started middle school and my parents taught me about the meaning of our New Year tradition. Middle school was also when I made other Korean American friends who helped me see that being different was not all bad.

Q: What do you consider to be the best parts of your heritage and culture?

The food & the fashion style.

Q: How did growing up as an Asian American/Pacific Islander affect your relationship with your parents?

When I was in elementary school, my friends at school would always talk about eating spaghetti or casserole for dinner and would always ask what I ate. I always had a hard time explaining what I had for dinner and suggested trying American food for dinner to my parents. Of course, they said no as that was not traditional.

Q: Did you have any Asian American/Pacific Islander role models growing up in media (i.e. movies/TV/music/books, etc.)? Did this affect your self-image?

In middle school, I was really into KPOP and Korean shows. Yes, I wanted to be just like them and have the long straight black hair or the dangly earrings. I basically wanted to look more like them and dress more like them.

Q: How do you feel about the rise of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in media today?

I love it! I think it’s amazing that there are so many Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in the media today and I’m excited to see how much more there will be in the years to come!

Q: If you could give your younger self advice regarding growing up Asian American/Pacific Islander, what would it be?

Don’t worry about being different. It’s what makes you YOU.

Q: How do you connect with your heritage and culture today?

I still watch Korean shows and eat Korean food! I also speak in Korean with my parents and family pretty fluently.

About Sally Lee

Sally is a Philadelphia-based fashion and lifestyle blogger. She loves eating and trying new food and dessert, while at the same time exploring the city. Sally hopes to spread positivity through her Instagram and blog.

Instagram: @salllylee | website: www.itsalwayssally.com