My name’s Tamia. I’m 23 years old and just about to go into my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham studying Liberal Arts (with a double major in History of Art and Japanese). Outside of term time I live in London with my family which includes my super fluffy and cute Goldendoodle called Dexter.
I’m half Japanese and half Eastern-European-Jewish but was raised in London by my mother and have since lived here pretty much my whole life. Understanding and embracing my cultural and ethnic identity however is something I have recently started exploring both consciously and unconsciously. A recent-ish trip to Japan back in 2018 gave me the opportunity to revisit my country and its culture as a young adult as opposed to when I used to visit as a baby (of which I have no recollection). This time round I was able to make my own memories and freely explore my own identity through developing a relationship with a culture I had not yet been able to fully experience growing up.
It was on this trip, on a visit to Japan’s own ‘art island’ called Naoshima that I visited Chichu Art Museum, my all-time favourite museum. Built primarily underground so as to best preserve the island’s flora and fauna, Chichu Art Museum is so much more than a building that houses artwork. So thoughtfully designed is the layout of this museum that the simple process of navigating your way around the labyrinthine structure, with its stunning use of natural light, constitutes an artwork in itself. Never before have I encountered an art museum whose entire site could be considered as an extremely large site-specific piece of art and it is for this reason that I have been itching to go back ever since.
I have a passion for food. Both eating and making it. Growing up surrounded by delicious food, cooked by both my mother and grandmother, definitely contributed to my love for cooking. For me, making food is therapeutic, not to mention you get a yummy treat at the end and I absolutely love sharing and cooking for others. Aside from cooking, I like watching anime, reading when I get a break from university work and often have phases of gaming (my most recent obsession was Zelda, and the one before that was Animal Crossing during lockdown).
When I was younger, with my deep love for animals, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I did not, however, follow the educational path which would have led me to my veterinary dreams and that’s okay. Dreams change, and now, 23 years old, in my final year of university, I have no solid idea on what I want to do post-university and that’s also okay. I know I want to do something which I am passionate about, something that I can feel rewarded doing as I think these are the most important aspects when looking at my future. Especially if I can also help others whilst doing something I love.
Unfortunately, girls still face too many challenges in society today. I do, however, believe that the most important issue is education; a lack of access to education in general, and, when education is available the level remains subpar. We need an education reform, especially regarding areas of sex education and women’s health. Progress begins with equipping the next generation of women with the information they need to make the change they want to see in the world, and that is through good and proper education.
I look forward to celebrating girls and girlhood with you all!
Girl Museum Inc.