Audio Recording of Interview
Solamon Thin discusses his refugee experience, growing up both in a camp in Thailand and with his grandmother in Myanmar before emigrating to the United States. Thin explores his proud identity as a refugee, his fears of deportation, and his curiosity for how Thailand has changed since he left.
Other interviews of this person can be found below:
Narrator: Solamon Thin
Date: June 28, 2020
Summary: Solamon Thin discusses his refugee experience, growing up both in a camp in Thailand and with his grandmother in Myanmar before emigrating to the United States. Thin explores his proud identity as a refugee, his fears of deportation, and his curiosity for how Thailand has changed since he left.
Topics: family, conflict journey, immigration process, faith, cultural adjustment
Section 1: (00:00-04:42)
Family — born in a refugee camp in Thailand in 1995, remembers going to school and picking up food from the camp. Moved to Myanmar to live with his grandmother, then, in 2004, returned to Thailand.
Section 2: (4:42-15:32)
Family — there were wars going on in the region, so his mother and father decided to take him back from Myanmar to a camp in Thailand. On the way from Thailand to Myanmar, his father is arrested, but his mother gets away. After returning to a camp in Thailand, he reunited with his parents, who he didn’t recognize because it had been so long.
Conflict journey — the journey from Myanmar to Thailand was tough, having to cross 3 mountains and swim across a river. Solamon had to carry his own food along the way, and was told to look down and walk without interacting with anyone for his own safety. His aunt’s husband (?) helps get him safely to one camp in Thailand, then to the Tham Hin camp.
Section 3: (15:32-19:39)
Immigration Process — details being interviewed to obtain refugee status, then coming to the United States and enrolling in school from the sixth to the ninth grade, then failing out. Says that the most different thing about the United States is that everything is “easier” — he doesn’t have to carry water on his back, for example.
Faith — says he is Christian. Says that religion didn’t affect his journey. He went to church and prayed every Sunday, both in Thailand and in the U.S.
Section 4: (19:39-34:22)
Family — Says that he is proud to be a refugee, and refugee kids should be proud their parents brought them to the U.S. for an easier life. He misses his grandma, and his family back in Myanma, but he says he doubts that they would be able to get the States. He was in the middle of a felony case and worries that he might get deported, but since it was a nonviolent offense, says he has a chance to fight it. He says he is scared of being deported because he doesn’t know how the process works, and isn’t sure if he’d be able to contact his family to help him.
Immigration Process — details the selection process at the camp, in which he had to put his name down on a list to be interviewed, and then was selected to come to the U.S. Says that a lot of people got selected.
Cultural Adjustment — says he misses the food in Thailand, and wishes that he could see how things were there now.