WASHINGTON DC —
At the close of National Asia Pacific Heritage Month, Sichan Siv, a Cambodian and former US ambassador to the UN, says cultural assimilation had been the key to his success in the United States.
“If you set your mind and work hard, you will succeed in the US,” Sichan Siv told VOA Khmer, in an interview marking Heritage Month.
The ambassador escaped Cambodia in 1976 and later came to the US, eventually becoming the ambassador to the UN under the administration of George Bush.
Over the past month, Sichan Siv has been traveling and giving speeches, including at the Voice of America, in Washington. He said he has delivered two main messages.
The first is “E pluribus unum,” he said. “Meaning that we all come from different places to become one. And the second message is: ‘No matter what happens, never give up hope.’ That’s been my mother’s message since I was young.”
He urged Asia Pacific parents to allow their children to “follow their passions” and pursue their interests. “And when they do well,” he advised, “don’t forget to do good.”