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My Diversity story begins with my name. “Hi, my name is Emiko.” For over a decade, about 90% of the time, my name has been mispronounced, misspelled, forgotten, ignored, or totally being rejected. People often look at me and say “Huh?” I had to repeat my name over and over, until people fully get it. Yes, this used to be a dread.

Now I can make fun of myself because of this. I am Japanese and grew up in California. Which means I can eat breakfast taco with seaweed on it:)

I am an Alien. No, I’m not a little creature from outer space. Actually, I AM a UFO! Unusually Funny Oriental.

My name is Emiko. Just like Emmy award and “Co”. You may not know this, but Emiko is
ancient Japanese term meaning “inny meeny minny ko”. Many people want to pronounce my name as in “mi amigo Emiko, my friend.” And I say “gracias.”

Some call me “Amoco”, the gas station. I wonder if I really look like a gas pump… If I
were gasoline, I would obviously be high octane!

How about this? Computerized phone message for my doctor’s appointment.
“Calling to confirm an appointment for, E-My-ka!” “E-My-Ka?” Sounds like Formica, a Kitchen countertop. But wait, which is kinda like me, because I am durable and CHEAP.

YES, I even look different. My eyes are so squinty! I cannot even see the color of my eyes. I think I have brown eyes. Only because, quite frankly everybody in Japan has brown eyes! My friends used to say, “Don’t make Emiko LAUGH while she is DRIVING. That is dangerous…”

After all, being different is not that bad. Diversity means unique. We all have unique characters and experiences which we can contribute to the rest of the world, by continuing to make fun of ourselves in harmless way.


~~ Emiko, the Funnygal
Follow me at @EFunnygal