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DEI People

Plative Stories: Celebrating Our People Across the Globe

As a global organization, we take pride in supporting, recognizing, and learning from our colleagues across the globe. During the month of May, we spotlighted a few team members from India, Canada, the Philippines, and the United States to learn more about their heritage and family traditions. Check out their stories below!

 

Our People - Jagriti

Jagriti
Mumbai, India

Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

  • Indian heritage is very vast and one of the oldest in the world. Be it our historical monuments, religions, or cities; there are several things that make me proud. One of the things I am most proud of is the mindfulness and wellness that are achieved from yoga, meditation, and prayers. Each religion has its own festival and in the festivals, people typically pray before or during. The enchantments (mantras) are melodies to harness positivity in the mind and soul. The positive vibes fold multiple times when praying and enchanting together, either with family or in a place of worship. For example, my family prays together for Diwali – the festival of lights by doing pooja and enchanting Sanskrit mantras. It fills everyone with peace and relief!

How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?

  • We have several methods embedded in our culture that if practiced, results in a healthy balanced life! We focus on balancing aachar (behavior), vichar (thoughts), aahar (diet), and vivek (morality). For example, with aarchar (behavior), we have pranayam, which is a breathing practice usually done in the morning. We start with pranayam so that we can start our day with energy and then we cook fresh food to eat. We also have morning prayers mainly focused on doing good so that we have positive thoughts. These are a few examples of how my heritage has shaped me since I focus on starting my day with breathing techniques, eating fresh food, and focusing on positive thoughts.

Our People - Nelson

Nelson Liu
Vancouver, Canada

Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

  • I am a second-generation Chinese Canadian. My parents are from Hong Kong and I was born and raised in Vancouver. One aspect of my heritage that I am very proud of and absolutely love is the rich culture. For example, China has 56 ethnic groups, 23 provinces, 8 types of cuisines!

What are some family or cultural traditions that are important to you?

There are many family traditions that I value but the two that stick out to me the most are: 

    • Celebrating Chinese New Year: Growing up, one of my favorite activities was receiving the red envelopes from my elders. Elders give children the red envelope, which symbolizes good wishes and luck for the new year ahead. The red envelope is filled with money so when I would get it as a child, I would save the money and use it to buy toys. Now I am older, I am on the opposite end where I give red envelopes to children. 
    • Eating dim sum with my family every weekend: dim sum is a large range of small dishes that people traditionally enjoy in restaurants for breakfast and lunch. There are 25 types of dishes that can be found in dim sum restaurants. My family and I would meet every week to spend time together, unplug, drink tea and eat delicious food. Some of my favorite dishes are Ha-Gao, which is a shrimp dumpling, and Su Mai, which is a pork dumpling.

Can you tell us more about your family’s journey to Canada and your experience around it?

  • My parents moved to Vancouver in 1976 from Hong Kong with all my family, including my aunts and uncles, for better life opportunities. I was born and raised in Vancouver and am grateful for all the hard work that my parents put in to set me up for success. I’m also fortunate to be able to celebrate two cultures – Chinese and Canadian. I grew up in a culturally diverse neighborhood and was able to embrace both cultures and traditions. Canada is a great place to live and I am grateful for the freedom and kindness that the country has offered throughout my life.

Our People - Cheene

Chenee Jarilla
Manila, Philippines

Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

  • I love how the most prominent trait of my country/heritage is rising above the storm, both literally and figuratively. We’re like strong steels that can’t be melted down amidst the chaos. For example, 26 typhoons hit the Philippines every year but people are able to overcome these challenges with a smile on their faces. Fun fact – you’ll find hundreds of photos on Google of Filipinos grinning ear to ear and having a good time right after a mega typhoon! Filipinos may fall down, but we can get back up immediately! This trait is what makes me proud of my heritage.

Does your family have any traditions that are important to you?

  • One of my favorite family traditions is getting together and bonding over a nice meal. I grew up with a family that loves to cook and loves to share stories while we eat. I really value this tradition. Even though I am a thousand miles away from my family due to the COVID-19 restrictions here in the Philippines, we still find time to have dinner/lunch together virtually.

What is your favorite food or meal from your culture?

  • Pork Sinigang (pork stew) is my favorite dish! The delicious broth is made up of pork, tamarind, calamansi, vegetables, and spices. It also has a hint of sourness which adds in a nice kick. I would choose this dish over any dish any day!

 

Lakshmi Gorrepati
Virginia, United States

Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

  • My family is from India and what I am most proud of is how India has such a rich diversity in traditions, languages, and food, yet we share so many similarities. The exposure to such diversity is what I cherish and has also served me well to adapt to newer cultures and traditions.

Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?

  • India celebrates many beautiful festivals. Two of them are family favorites –  Diwali, the festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and Sankranthi, the harvest festival that celebrates the food producers/farmers. For both these festivals, we make decorative designs/rangoli, prepare various Indian delicacies, and spend time with friends and family.

What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

  • It is great that we are celebrating AAPI heritage, history, and contributions to America. This recognition and celebration of diverse Asian cultures are inspiring and humbling.

Can you tell us more about your family’s journey or your journey to the US and your experience around it?  

  • I came to the US to pursue my Ph.D. Over the years, apart from earning a doctorate, I found my life partner and made deep friendships. I’ve had the privilege of experiencing so many great things this country has to offer and have felt empowered to give back in small ways to my community here and back in India.

 

Interested in joining our global team? Check out our open roles!

People

Plative Stories: Celebrating Our People Across the Globe

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