Contributions from Ruby Hunter and Bryan Stewart
Throughout the month of May, we are highlighting the stories Asian American and Pacific Islanders and how our employees celebrate their heritage, culture and history. Below are two stories from PRN employees, Ruby Hunter and Bryan Stewart, that share the unique ways in which they proudly display and honor their Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.
Ruby Hunter, PRN Corporate Accounts Payable
I am mixed with many different races, but I am so happy to share a small part of my culture during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I was born in Pasay City in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was about four years old. I love my Filipino culture which embraces family, food, and tradition. My family loves cooking and every time we make a meal, I swear it could feed a small army.
On my mother’s 70 birthday, I danced Pandango Sa Ilaw, which translates to the “dance of light.” It is a folk dance that is very popular in the Philippines. I thought I was going to set my hair on fire while dancing, as the folk dance requires you to balance a lit candle on your head and two in each hand. I was proud to be able to dance this for my mother as she suffers from severe osteoporosis and can no longer dance. My mother is also the reason I love having the ability to work in a role supporting physical therapy clinics. While I may not have the training or the ability to relieve someone of pain in my role in accounts payable, I am proud to be able to support the physical and occupation therapists who do.
Bryan Stewart, PT, DPT, OCS, Clinic Director at California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy – Huntington Beach
As my wife is half Japanese, my family and I have embraced the Japanese culture to ensure the history and heritage are passed on to my son and daughter. In a culture that is steeped in tradition, my wife and I have tried to educate our eldest son who is four years old on a bit of his background both from my (non-Asian) and his mom’s background and historical significance. Whether he has learned a bit about Buddhism from his grandma, gone to an Obon Festival in Anaheim, or has simply enjoyed eating Japanese food, we have tried to introduce various elements of his family history into his upbringing.
A few years ago, we took a trip to Lake Tahoe along Highway 395 and stopped at the Manzanar War Relocation Center to be further educated on how Japanese-American’s were treated during wartime in the United States, not that long ago. While our son was very young, we thought it was important for him to learn about how Japanese-Americans were treated and the history of that region.
I encourage people to visit : https://asianpacificheritage.gov/ as it has been a great resource for additional information. It is truly unfortunate that in today’s society, any sort of racial injustice is carried out against a race, religion or culture, as a family, we feel it is important for our son to know a bit about his background.