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Q&A: Exploring AAPI Traditions With Our VP of Growth Marketing, Bumsoo Kim

Q&A: Exploring AAPI Traditions With Our VP of Growth Marketing, Bumsoo Kim Q&A: Exploring AAPI Traditions With Our VP of Growth Marketing, Bumsoo Kim

This AAPI Heritage Month, Little Sleepies is excited to honor and celebrate the cultural traditions that enrich our team. Central to our brand is a deep respect for family values and the diverse backgrounds that come together to form our community! So, in honor of this meaningful month, we're thrilled to spotlight our VP of Growth Marketing, Bumsoo Kim, through this interview.

In our sit-down with Bumsoo, we aim to uncover how his family's customs and cultural background influence both his personal journey & professional contributions.

Join us in this intimate Q&A session as we navigate through the realms of culture, family, and business at LS, all from Bumsoo’s perspective!

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Little Sleepies: Can you share a bit about your family's heritage and what AAPI Heritage Month means to you?

Bumsoo Kim: Yes, I come from a South Korean family heritage, as both my parents and siblings, as well as myself, were born in South Korea. In contrast, my wife has a Taiwanese family heritage, which adds a diverse cultural element to our family. We strive to blend both Korean and Taiwanese customs for our two children to create a rich and inclusive environment that respects both heritages.

Cultural traditions hold significant value in our household, and the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month serves as an important reminder to honor and preserve the traditions that form a substantial part of my personal identity. 

How do you and your family celebrate your cultural heritage at home, especially with your children?

Much of my family's celebrations revolve around important cultural events and gatherings such as birthdays, Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), Lunar New Year, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Food plays a significant role in these celebrations, with traditional dishes that are closely tied to each occasion.

For instance, during Chuseok, we traditionally enjoy rice cakes and Japchae (Korean glass noodles) as a way to honor our ancestors. At Lunar New Year, we serve dishes with long noodles, which represent the wish for long life.

Celebrations incorporating food have been a great way to introduce cultural heritage traditions to our children.

Are there specific traditions or celebrations from your culture that you've introduced to your family? How do you celebrate them?

A recent Korean tradition we celebrated was "Doljabi," a ritual that marks a baby's first birthday. As part of the doljabi ritual, various objects are laid out on a table or mat in front of the child. The baby chooses one or more of the objects, and their choices are thought to offer a glimpse into their future interests, talents, or career path. This moment is always filled with joy, and we held the ritual for both my daughter and son.

My daughter chose a stethoscope, while my son picked a baseball, so I can look forward to my retirement knowing I might have a doctor and a professional athlete to care for me in my old age ; )


How do you feel these traditions have influenced your children’s understanding and appreciation of their cultural heritage?

My daughter, who is five years old, and my son, who is two, are still quite young and just beginning to grasp the concept of cultural heritage. Introducing them to small elements, such as teaching them how to address their grandparents in Mandarin and Korean, has proven to be beneficial in fostering their understanding of our diverse cultural roots.

However, the most impactful influence has been through exposing them to a variety of traditional foods. Observing their willingness to try new dishes and take pleasure in different cultural cuisines has played a key role in nurturing their appreciation for our rich and varied heritage.

In what ways do you incorporate your cultural heritage into your daily life or special occasions?

In addition to the examples previously mentioned, I make an effort to integrate my cultural heritage into my daily life by maintaining communication in Korean with my parents. Preserving the ability to speak Korean is of great importance to me, as it allows me to maintain a strong connection to my heritage.

My daily actions are deeply influenced by my cultural upbringing and the values instilled by my parents, particularly with respect to honoring elders, prioritizing family, observing traditions, and upholding a strong work ethic.


Could you share a favorite story or memory that highlights the importance of culture in your family?

One of my most cherished memories is the celebration of my daughter’s and son’s 100 days and first birthdays. These occasions hold significant cultural importance and are accompanied by various traditional customs.

The 100-day milestone represents the baby's first major achievement in life and symbolizes the child's strength and resilience. Both events involve traditional practices such as dressing the baby in special attire and conducting ceremonies to bless and honor the child.

How has your culture influenced you in your professional life?

Key aspects of my cultural heritage that have had a notable impact on my professional life include a strong emphasis on work ethic, perseverance, and education. These principles have enabled me to continually strive for improvement, maintain discipline in my daily work, and place a high value on continuous learning.


Little Sleepies is deeply committed to celebrating diversity and fostering an inclusive environment! Can you share how your heritage has shaped or contributed to these values within the brand?

From the moment I joined Little Sleepies, it was evident that the company values family, inclusion, and diversity. My contribution involves infusing my distinct cultural perspectives into the brand and extending the same respect and warmth that I have consistently experienced from my colleagues.

What advice would you give to families looking to explore and celebrate different cultures and heritages?

My advice is to maintain curiosity and an open mind. Exploring diverse cuisines can offer insight into various traditions and customs. Additionally, traveling abroad and immersing yourself in the culture by visiting historical landmarks and engaging with individuals from different backgrounds can enhance your understanding of other cultures.


How can parents encourage their children to learn about and respect cultural diversity?

I firmly believe that the responsibility begins with us as parents, and leading by example is essential. Identifying teachable moments during specific cultural holidays is one method we use to educate our children. Additionally, enrolling my daughter in a dual immersion program in Mandarin and Spanish has significantly enhanced her appreciation for cultural diversity.

As we wrap up our Q&A with Bumsoo, we're reminded of the incredible strength and beauty that comes from celebrating our diverse backgrounds. His story and experiences offer a glimpse into the rich cultures that make up the LS community!

We're inspired by the ways in which culture and heritage can not only shape our individual lives but also bring us together as a family. This AAPI Heritage Month, let's continue to learn from one another, celebrate our differences and build a more inclusive world for our kids.

Thank you, Bumsoo, for sharing your insights with us!


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