Interview for

Mu Naw

7/7/2020

Interviewed By:

Chesley Chan

Date Interviewed:

Audio Recording of Interview
00:00 / 31:42
Summary

Born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Burmese parents, Mu moved to the United States at the age of sixteen with her nuclear family. She describes her experience in the camp, receiving an education, and the evolution of her Christian faith in the process of immigrating to and living in the U.S.

Transcript
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Additional Notes
Outline

Narrator: Mu Naw

Date: 07/07/2020

Location: Clarkston, Georgia


Summary: Born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Burmese parents, Mu moved to the United States at the age of sixteen with her nuclear family. She describes her experience in the camp, receiving an education, and the evolution of her Christian faith in the process of immigrating to and living in the U.S.

Topics: Childhood, Cultural adjustment, Education, Faith Family, Future, Immigration Process, Places of Worship, Religious Practice, Tradition


Outline

Section 1: (00:00:30)

  • Childhood - Ms. Naw was born in a refugee camp in Thailand to her Burmese parents. Then, she moved to the United States at the age of sixteen.

  • Family - In the refugee camp, Ms. Naw and her family initially depended on food rations that were provided by the United Nations. However, her parents began to grow vegetables and sell them to fellow refugees; as a result, they were able to earn some spending money.

  • Education - Using the little money they obtained from their vegetable selling business in the refugee camp, Ms. Naw’s parents regularly sent her to school.

Section 2: (00:03:28)

  • Family - Several of Ms. Naw’s relatives like her grandmother and uncle still reside in the refugee camp in Thailand.

  • Identity - Because Ms. Naw was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, she is not considered a Thai citizen. By the same token, even though her parents are Burmese, she is not a Burmese citizen.

  • Immigration process - Ms. Naw’s father applied for their immigration to the United States. A year later, in 2006,  they met success and made the move; however, Ms. Naw’s mother was initially reluctant because of her inability to speak English.

  • Immigration process - Since Ms. Naw’s family did not have any relatives in the US, they could not choose what state they arrived and settled in.

Section 3: (00:08:23)

  • Immigration process - When Ms. Naw and her family arrived in Georgia, they were welcomed by their case worker, a representative from the World Relief organization, who also, coincidentally, had similarly serviced Ms. Naw’s brother not long before. Ms. Naw remembers being astonished by how abundant their new home – an apartment – was.

  • Religious Practice - Ms. Naw and her family attended church services in America with their case worker. They remain in friendly contact with the said case worker.

  • Cultural adjustment - When she started school, Ms. Naw began to work upon improving her English skills. She found it easier to make friends with students who were also refugees than with American students because she easily related to the former group.

  • Education - Ms. Naw’s parents were neither educated nor did they speak English; therefore, they could not help her and her brother with their homework. Fortunately, she received assistance from an after school program that was staffed by college students and even one of Ms. Naw’s very generous friends.

Section 4: (00:14:01)

  • Education - After high school, Ms. Naw started off her post-secondary education at a community college and then with the help of an elderly woman she met at church, transferred to university. She had considered quitting, but the support and encouragement of this new friend gave her the courage to push forward and eventually earn her Bachelor of Social Work.

  • Family - Ms. Naw is married and has a child.

  • Religious Practice - Ms. Naw’s parents were originally animists, but converted to Christianity due to their exposure to missionaries. Being a practicing Christian has not only enabled her to strengthen her relationship with God but has also opened the door to great friendships.

  • Faith - Ms. Naw’s father is very prayerful. He greatly influenced her religious life.

  • Religious Practice - In the refugee camp, Ms. Naw attended services at an Anglican church on Sundays. She also participated in worship and prayer sessions with other children.

  • Tradition - In the refugee camp, Ms. Naw’s parents did not practice animism because they had converted to Christianity while still in Burma.

Section 5: (00:24:06)

  • Places of Worship - At first, Ms. Naw continued to go to only Anglican churches and occasionally, Baptist ones in America. Now, she disregards her sect when seeking God; she seeks Him in any church.

  • Places of Worship - Due to their convenient locations, Ms. Naw usually goes to one of these churches: Fellowship Church (it is the same one her case worker attends), Episcopal Church, or, Korean Baptist Church. She is also motivated by this other incentive – meeting people.

Section 6: 00:29:00)

  • Family - Ms. Naw feels loved and appreciated by her husband. She wishes the same for her daughter.

  • Future - Ms. Naw would like to raise her daughter as a God-fearing person.