Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebrates the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made and recognizes their achievements in a variety of fields. BIPOC@Dox is an employee resource group (ERG) committed to fostering a culture of equity and inclusion for Doxers of color. We had the opportunity to catch up with Kirti Rai, Account Lead Client Services.
What does being Asian American mean to you?
Diversification, being an Indian-born female living in the United States. I feel fortunate that I have been raised in this rich, diversified culture that has made me who I am today. I was born in India and came to the United States when I was nine months old. As a second-generation, I have tried to hold on to my Indian heritage and keep a balance while being raised in America. My parents were persistent in teaching me our native language, culture, and religion. I’m so happy they did, as this defined me and provided me with a different viewpoint while living in a diversified environment. Now I’m able to pass this on to my kids.
How do you honor/celebrate your heritage? (i.e. food, language, faith, arts, etc.)
With pride! As my parents were first-generation Indians, they ensured I understood our heritage. They made sure I learned how to speak Hindi fluently, understood our religious background, and celebrated various holidays. With all that my parents shared with me, I found love for Bollywood movies. Since I was an infant, I have loved watching Bollywood movies and am amazed by their clothing, the music, and the dance performances. I loved the dance performances so much that I learned these dances and would perform at cultural shows.
Celebrating and honoring my heritage also included various Indian holidays. Each one was unique. Some were for one of the many gods we worship in the Hindu religion. These celebrations had an overabundance of food, gatherings with family and friends, celebrations with music, and even fireworks at times. In my family, we love to host. Food was always home-cooked, which my mom loved to do, and working with her in the kitchen, I started cooking in my early 20s. The best part of all this was sneaking in a taste!
There is one holiday that is one of my favorites, Karva Chauth. It’s celebrated in the northern part of India, where a married woman will fast for her husband’s long and healthy life. I’m allowed to eat before the sun comes out but have to wait till I can see the moon before eating again. Besides trying to pass the time throughout the day and not think of food, there is an afternoon prayer session. You get dressed up as a bride and go to the temple for prayer with your family and friends. It’s incredible to see all the different ladies dressed to their fullest while we all anxiously wait for the moon. In the number of years I have been celebrating, it is usually guaranteed there is an overcast, and the moon is not visible. This day is special to me as I get to honor the love of my life!
How do you bring—or strive to bring—your full self to work?
You can look at the world as half full or half empty. I always look at it half full. I genuinely love working here at Doximity. That is my driving factor! I enjoy each of the different people I work with, the work I do, and the fun activities Doximity offers. As many of the people I work with know, I am very detailed and organized. I believe in starting the day early with a game plan. Before my workday begins, a workout with my Dox Peloton Crew is fun and motivational.
How are you taking care of yourself during challenging times?
The world has changed as we all know it. Work mixes in with life; life mixes in with work. I have disciplined myself, at times, to ensure I am balancing my work and life. It is easy to slip out of your day-to-day routine and not take care of yourself. During the pandemic, I binge-watched a series on Netflix and finished an entire (Costco size) bag of chips. I quickly realized life is different and will remain this way for a long time. So I had to find a new routine to get through this new world. I found that staying healthy and focused helped, so I turned to meditation and working out. I find a good adrenaline-rush workout and peaceful mediation are crucial to handling life's various changes.
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Interview conducted by Angelica Recierdo
Banner image created by Chloe Chan