A Quickie with Nirvana Ortanez – Ambassador to the Soy Sauce Nation

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Diversity in snowboarding may be rare, but don’t get it twisted. There’s huge scene in Japan, a rapidly developing interest in China, and those of the Asian persuasion have long stood out not for their skin color, but for their seemingly unnatural ability and flexibility on snowboards. But we’re still mostly pasty white, so during the summers at Mt. Hood, the Asian invasion bands together, and the Soy Sauce Nation was born. Nirvana was kind enough to answer a few questions about it.

Tell me about the Soy Sauce Nation. Who is in it, how did it come to be?

It all started as a joke really. The other half to everything is AK. He’s a legend. But, I actually hated AK when we first met… Just kidding, I can’t hate anyone, but seriously it started when we were all introducing ourselves at one of the [HSCS] staff meetings. Anyways AK was telling an anecdote about how his name came to be and the punch line was something about being the only Asian at camp. To which I immediate thought WTF am I supposed to be then? At that same moment as those thoughts were being made, he was casually looking around the room, made eye contact with me and I think he read my mind or something cause he later found me and apologized haha. It ended up being totally fine in the end because AK is a G and we also bonded over being Asian and shit.


That same summer he had some Soy Sauce Nation stickers laying around and I was like Holy crap could I have one?? What’s up with it??

Everything behind that is all AK and Matty B. They were throwing words around and respectively Matty has Word Sauce Nation and AK threw a twist on it when he saw a Kikkoman bottle and spat Soy Sauce Nation out. Moral of the story is Charlie’s had a lot to contribute in making things happen and everything we’ve done so far. Other people got hyped too like Johnny and Jesse, and then it just kinda snowballed from there. Squad includes: Johnny, Jesse, Max, Hailey, Thorblood, Yosh, AK, Chloe, Miles, Summer, Steve, Emily Tarnacki aka lilnicegrl, and the homies.

Who is your favorite Asian snowboarder of all time?

I wouldn’t say it’s a singular person, but I like calling them the YouthInAsia aka Hailey, Chloe, & Miles. Have you seen these kids snowboard? The future is in good hands.


Photo: Amanda Hankison

What are your thoughts on Chinese Gymnasts taking over big air?


How often do you get into car accidents on the way to spots?

LOLOLOLOL. I don’t drive usually and when I do the girls call me grandma.


10 replies
  1. Deaf
    Deaf says:

    Legitimate question; who is AK? Mentioned about 100 times in the article, but never the person’s actual name.

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