1. What’s your name?
Nathan Bounyong. My Lao name is Sonsai and means “Victory Arrow”.
2. What do you do for a living?
Full time student studying Theology and Biology with aspirations for medical school. Whenever I’m off school I help out at the family restaurant – a Thai and Italian restaurant. Not so much a fusion restaurant, just a place where people can eat both types of cuisine (although we are definitely a Thai restaurant more than anything else). I used to work retail, but it was a headache (if you are a messy shopper, I bite my thumb at you and think about things I wish I could say to you).
3. What ethnicity are you?
4. Do you feel being this ethnicity has helped you or held you back in any way?
I think it has certainly helped me because of the benefits minorities receive (although I have recently been hearing about contrary statistics concerning Asian Americans in college admissions). I can’t think of any way that being Lao has hindered me. Growing up in Milwaukee and white, suburban Brookfield, I’ve always been one of a number of Asian Americans and I feel like I’ve always received equal treatment.
5. What are you most proud of?
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” But, to “really” answer the question, I’m proud of Michael Jackson, of my middle name being my father’s name (he is my hero), of the countless persons that are forgotten or glanced over, of the New York Giants for beating the Patriots, of Liu Xiang despite the upset at Beijing 2008… I’m really proud to be Lao American and a Christian.
6. What’s your favorite food?
It’s this sauce. I don’t know how to spell it, but maybe it’s jaeow (it’s like saying “jail” but replacing the “l” with a “w”). It’s basically fish sauce, lime, garlic, and peppers. You dip your food and douse your rice with it and my mouth waters when I think about it.
7. Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel to?
The beaches of Normandy. And Asia. I want to see the land where my dad spilled his sweat and blood, to have a real experience of my ancestral roots.
8. What are the five most recently played songs on your iTunes?
Dirty Diana (Michael Jackson), Hold My Hand (Akon and Michael Jackson), Mean (Taylor Swift), Runaway (Kanye West), Don’t Let Me Fall (B.O.B.)
9. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?
Gosh, I don’t know. I’ve been doing a lot of work with my Christian fellowship (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) since starting college. I love how transformative that has been for me and for us socially, spiritually, personally, communally… But I really don’t know what my biggest accomplishment is. There’s so much I still want to accomplish and I feel like I’m still developing the foundation from which I want to accomplish things – but, of course, that is no excuse for vacant time.
Oh, I bit a kid’s ass when I was the T-Rex during Dinosaur at recess. That’s impressive, right? No hands, all teeth!
10. How did you find this blog?
I tumblred an excerpt from a book (The Next Evangelicalism) that spoke to the White, cultural captivity of the Western church. You liked it. I checked out your blog and now I’m following you. It’s refreshing, revitalizing, and ripe of passion and commitment to the Asian American community. Definitely one of my favorites! Very glad you (and the many others) are blogging effectively and meaningfully.
You can find Nathan here and also on Twitter!! :) I’m proud to say I tweet with (is that the correct usage of the verb?) someone who bit someone’s ass. I actually did that too when I was a kid. SOLIDARITY.