Interview for

Saw Day Kwar

8/15/2019

Interviewed By:

Irene Hsu

Date Interviewed:

Audio Recording of Interview
00:00 / 14:19
Summary

Fourteen-year old Saw Day Kwar shares his journey of escaping war in Thailand and moving to the United States with his family. He describes the adjustment to life in the States with his family receiving help and him being acclimated to a school environment where not many students were refugees like him. Displays the multiplicity in refugee experiences through labeling himself as a “half-refugee” because of his young age when they first migrated and an inability to remember much of life in Thailand.

Transcript
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Additional Notes
Outline

This interview was recorded in two parts, so you may hear sudden shifts in conversation as a result. The second part begins at 11:40.


Narrator: Saw Day Kwar

Date: 08/15/2019

Location: MUCC


Summary: Fourteen-year old Saw Day Kwar shares his journey of escaping war in Thailand and moving to the United States with his family. He describes the adjustment to life in the States with his family receiving help and him being acclimated to a school environment where not many students were refugees like him. Displays the multiplicity in refugee experiences through labeling himself as a “half-refugee” because of his young age when they first migrated and an inability to remember much of life in Thailand.

Topics: Religion, place of worship war, immigration, family, culture, language, education, generational differences, commentary on age, gratitude, future


Outline

Section 1: (00:00-6:47)

  • War, immigration, language, gratitude - Talks about his mom’s decision to immigrate with his family to the U.S. since it was hard for her in Thailand due to the war. Does not remember many details since he was four-years old when his family migrated. However, he does remember a quick adjustment to the English language by learning from people at school and being immersed in people speaking English so that it did not take a lot of effort to pick up the language. Also shares gratitude for the safety he feels in the States.

  • Education, generational differences, culture - Shares how school was initially difficult since there were only a few other refugees and he did not know much of the material being taught. Did not see much of an issue with his parents in an older generation not speaking English since they received a lot of help when adjusting to life in the States. Talks about being proud that he’s different and that he is Karen which includes many traditions like wrist-tying.

Section 2: (6:48-11:34)

  • Religion, place of worship- Shares about how his family has a blend of members who are religious and other members who are not and some nights the family prays and others it doesn’t. Notes how he personally is connected to a religious community and attends church.

  • Family, future- Talks about his five older siblings and how his family goes on vacation for fun and most recently went to the beach. Some of his siblings are in school like him and others have jobs. He is interested in engineering in the future.

Section 3: (11:35-14:19)

  • Commentary on age - Calls himself a “half-refugee” since he does not remember all of the history of his family’s migration because they moved during such an early point in his life. He shares a bit of embarrassment that he cannot recount all of the details of migrating or experiencing life as a refugee like others can. Says he feels pretty American since he grew up in the States.