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Tony VoHis Vietnamese heritage has assisted him in supporting UWindsor students, says Tony Vo, student experience co-ordinator in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Student experience co-ordinator passes on lessons from Vietnamese culture

Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to reflect on his own experiences, says Tony Vo, student experience co-ordinator in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. He was born in Vietnam and came to Canada in 1999 at the age of three.

“Growing up, I’ve always had a connection with my Asian heritage and I’m proud of it because it has made me who I am today,” Vo says. “I thoroughly enjoy being with my family during Lunar New Year. It’s a time for celebrations, gatherings, and happiness, a day to celebrate the new year and to forget about the past.”

He fondly recalls eating che troi nuoc (sweet rice balls in sweet soup) and wishing his grandparents and relatives blessings to receive a red envelope filled with money.

“The Vietnamese culture, beliefs, and social values that I was taught while growing up have been engraved within me, especially understanding the great value of a university education,” says Vo. “I was extremely happy to see that these values are being highlighted through recent media, such as the films Shang-Chi and Turning Red.”

He says that his heritage has influenced his work in supporting students.

“My parents taught me the value of being an independent learner, but also to believe in myself and my abilities — that’s something that I’ve passed onto the students I’ve worked with,” Vo says.

This article is the first in a series featuring voices from members of the UWindsor community in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. The 2022 theme “Continuing a legacy of greatness” is a reminder for all Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all its forms.