Interview transcript with Snay Tun on May 19, 2016


Dublin Core


Interview transcript with Snay Tun on May 19, 2016


The interview took place in Snay Tun's family home in Logan. Snay Tun is a young Karen man in his early twenties. The interview occurred on the floor of his living room where we spoke for about an hour regarding his life as a refugee, moving to the US, school, and his passion for the sport Takraw.
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 1
Interviewee(s): Snay Tun
Present: Wes Van de Water, Snay Tun, Bethany Hanks, Meagan Gill
Place of Interview: Logan, Utah
Date of Interview: May 19, 2015
Language(s): English
Interviewer: Wes Van de Water
Recordist: Meagan Gill
Photographer: Bethany Hanks
Recording Equipment: Tascam DR-100mk11 linear PCM recorder; Senal ENG-18RL broadcast-quality omnidirectional dynamic microphone
Transcription Equipment: Express Scribe software
Transcribed by: Wes Van de Water May 23, 2015
Transcript Proofed by: Wes Van de Water May 23, 2015
Brief Description of Contents: Snay Tun talks about his youth in the Umphiem Refugee Camp, moving to the United States, his life as a college student, his family, Karen traditions, and about the sport of Takraw.
WV = Wes Van de Water
ST= Snay Tun
BH = Bethany Hanks
MG= Meagan Gill
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 2
Tape Transcription
WV: Okay, so we are here meeting with Snay Tun, it is 11:22 on May 19th- um, I am Wes Van de Water, I will be doing the interview, Bethany Hanks is doing the photography, and Meagan Gill is recording the interview. Um, so Snay, if you would, could you tell us your full name and birth year?
ST: Well, my name is Snay Tun, my birthday is October 13, 1994.
WV: Thank you. So, I guess to start off, could you just tell us a little bit about your family, about- are you from Burma or Karen?
ST: Uh, I am from Burma, but I our country is inside of Burma.
WV: Okay.
ST: We are Karen.
WV: Oh so you're form Karen state?
ST: Yes, Karen state.
WV: Ok. So could you just tell us a bit about your family in the Karen state?
ST: Well, I don't really know, but because they said there is a war, so we had to move over to another country. So, yeah.
WV: Ok. So, did you grow up in a refugee camp then?
ST: Yes. I grew up in a refugee camp.
WV: Uh, which camp were you from, or did you grow up in?
ST: I grew up in Umphiem.
WV: Umphiem?
WV: Where was that located, do you know?
ST: It's in Thailand.
WV: Thailand.
ST: Yeah. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 3
WV: So, how old were you when you first went there?
ST: Oh, I was like five years.
WV: And how many- or how long did you live in Umphiem?
ST: I lived there for nine years.
WV: So, what was life in Umphiem like? What was it like living there?
ST: Well, if, like, it was just- it was a refugee camp. As you see it's not like, not really free to go outside. We just stayed in the camp. But we do receive food and then medicaid. Yeah, like it's a hospital or children free to get medication for free.
WV: So what were the setups of the camps like? Like what kind of, were, they, um, were they sort of like temporary buildings that could be moved, or were they, um, places built like this where they're not really designed to be moved?
ST: uh, well, I'm not really sure, because like, you know the home was built with the wood-
WV: Mhm
ST: So, yeah, if they moved like that, to, like, like... um, broke down everything and moved to another one, because we're not sure like, it's still good to move or not, you know.
WV: Um, so where or how did you wind up leaving the camp? And where did you go after you left the refugee camp?
ST: After I left the refugee camp, I just moved to here. Moved to USA.
WV: Ok. Um, so did you where did you arrive when you first came to the States?
ST: Salt Lake City, Utah.
WV: So what caused you to move from Salt Lake to Logan?
ST: To Logan, at first my father he got a job here, so yeah. He like, told us to come and move with him in here and stay here. So, he could take care of us, like if we lived close to him.
WV: Ok. Where does your father work?
WV: So and you said that you- so you moved here to Logan and you started going to school, is that right? Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 4
ST: Yes.
WV: What are you studying here?
ST: Right now?
WV: Yes at Utah State
ST: I don't have major yet, I am an undeclared student. I just take a major, like general class.
WV: Uh, what do you think you want to study?
ST: Well, I think I want to study political science.
WV: Do you have any, what do you plan on doing, or what would you like to do after you finish college?
ST: Uh well, after I have finished college, I'm not really sure what to do yet. But I thought if I get my degree, I might, like, plan to go to back to Thailand or something. Yeah. Or Burma.
WV: What would you like to do if you moved back there?
ST: Moved back there? Um, well, for what I'm thinking maybe, like, join some kind of like, community. Like
WV: what exactly do you mean?
ST: Like join some of kind community like, Karen community or something.
WV: So would you, I guess would you be interested in, trying to you know, trying to help stabilize the situation in Burma, you know, try to maybe work with the government on fixing things?
ST: Yeah, I plan to, yeah. If I got my degree. But I'm not really sure will study that.
WV: Right, so when did you start school here?
ST: I start school here since like 2009. I, like, well, I get in Salt Lake City, I stay there for 10 months, so I study 8th grade, when I move here, I studied 9th, and then, yeah.
WV: So you lived in Salt Lake for 10 months?
ST: Yeah. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 5
WV: Ok. And then you moved up here. So how big is your family? Is it just you, your mom and your dad?
ST: No, we have like, I got two brother and one sisters.
WV: Ok. How old are they?
ST: The, my sister is older. She is around 27. 28.
WV: What about your brothers?
ST: He is 25. And another one is 23.
WV: Ok. So, you're all a bit older. Adults then. Do they all live here in Logan?
ST: No. Two stay in Thailand. One in Logan.
WV: Ok.
WV: Um, so, let's see... so I guess- well, both here in Logan as well as um, growing up in the camps, did you uh- have any celebrations that you guys would do, like any special holidays?
ST: Yeah, like, especially like birthdays, yeah, we celebrated. Also, like New Years in camp, we did it. But, in here, we have a really big space. But they did it in Salt Lake City.
WV: Um, so, I guess how do Karen people celebrate birthdays? Do they do things very differently?
ST: Um, not really different. But, like most of them kinda do it on Sundays after church. So, like, they just go and announce it at our church. So, after church, everyone gonna come back and like, at the house and but, yeah, we celebrated together.
WV: Ok. Uh, where do you go to church? Or what church do you attend?
ST: Uh, it's in Smithfield.
WV: It's out in Smithfield?
ST: Yeah, and its' in Smithfield.
WV: What church out in Smithfield?
ST: Uh, I don't really know what to call it. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 6
WV: I'm trying to think what that would be. I've only been there a few times. Is it, mostly just other members of the Karen community that go there, or is it, sort of a mixed group?
ST: Uh, no, just Karen people.
WV: Ok.
ST: Just Karen that go there.
WV: So it's a lot of, so I guess a lot of your celebrations are just within the community, so sort of everyone's welcome?
ST: Mhm.
WV: Um, so do you remember much, growing up in the camps, about maybe the political environment, or did you just, know that you weren't really supposed to go outside?
ST: Well, I grew up in a camp, but you know sometimes they will tell us not to go out of the camp, or something. Yeah. That's how, but sometimes they let us, you know it's kind of difficult. If you don't have jobs, you need money, right? So you have to go out, but if like, they catch you, they just gonna take you away. Because, yeah. You are a refugee, so, yeah.
WV: You were about 14 when you left, right?
ST: Yeah, I was about 14.
WV: So did you, I guess, what was the youngest age that people would work there in the camp?
ST: Work, I think, maybe, I don't know, like 10? 12? I don't know, if you want to, you can, because there's no limit of age.
WV: Ok. What kind of jobs are available for you know, 10 or 12 year old kids to do?
ST: I, well, you know, just random jobs. Like, maybe, just going and like plant corn, maybe, yeah. When I was like, 12, like, they just go and like cut rice. Harvest.
WV: Were the fields inside the camp?
ST: No. Not inside. Like, just everything just outside of the camp.
WV: Ok.
ST: Because inside of the camp, just only going to be homes, adn then, yeah.
WV: Oh, so they just had houses and things? Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 7
ST: Yeah, house, school, and hospital. Yeah. Church, monastery.
WV: So, like about how big was the camp?
ST: How big?
WV: Was it pretty small and kind of cramped together, or was it pretty spread out?
ST: You know, some part is, like, homes are less sticking together. It depends on how you build them. Some people they wanna build homes that stick with each other, but some people have like a bit space. Small space between each home and another one.
WV: Um, so was the camp you lived in, was it one of the UN camps, or was it a Thai military camp?
ST: It's a UN camp.
WV: So is that how you found out about being able to come over here to the States was from the UN workers?
ST: Well, I think, I'm not really know about that, because like my parents took care of that, so yeah. I think they might hear from their friends.
WV: So when you first moved here to the US, how was it adjusting to living in Salt Lake?
ST: Adjusting? Well, you know, first time when I get here, I don't really know, like live, or act. But, later I get used to it, after I go to school, and like, yeah. That's how.
WV: So did you have, um, did you have help from the government, or any of the local community, as far as adjusting to living here?
ST: Yeah, we do. Because, like when we moved here first, we received medicaid and stuff like that.
WV: Was that through the government, or was that people in the community helping?
ST: The government.
WV: Okay. Um, so what about, um, living here up in Logan, how do you like it?
ST: Well, I really like it, because I, well, in my sight, I see like homes, there's space between one and another, but when I live in Salt Lake City, I saw the apartments like kinda sticky. So I just Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 8
used to living in home that, like, live like with space between other ones, so I like it better than Salt Lake.
WV: Yeah, Salt Lake is- [LAUGHTER] pretty packed.
ST: Yeah. Sticky traffic.
WV: Yeah, traffic is really really bad.
ST: Heavy traffic.
WV: Um, so how has it been, um, adjusting to being a college student for you? Because you said you were doing 8th grade when you first arrived in Salt Lake?
ST: Yeah.
WV: So how has going to college been for you?
ST: Well, going to college, well, it's kinda hard to say. You know, but, because like you have to study a lot, so yeah.
WV: So did you learn any English when you were over in Thailand, or did you start learning when you were arrived here?
ST: When I live in Thailand, I used to learn abcs and stuff like that, I learn the alphabet later. So yeah, just, yeah, later.
WV: Ok. So you knew a bit before you got here?
ST: Yeah.
WV: Um, so, how does your, like your home here in Logan, compare to your home in the camp?
ST: Well, it's a lot better. Because there, um, you know, inside of the camp, so it's like, the home was made of wood and stuff like that. In here like you don't build with that. So yeah, but it's a different thing. There just only from one family stay inside here in an apartment. So, like, people stay, like stay away from one another.
WV: So, I guess one of the things that, you know, that we're looking at, and sort of asking the people we've been meeting with is, is there anything that, you know, you feel, is important for you to be able to share with other people here in Cache Valley? You know, either about your Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 9
experience, or your family, like is there anything that, if you could, um, that you would like to tell us? Does that make sense?
ST: Mhm. Well, I think that living in the USA life, live under regulations and stuff. Then, it's good to be better for us if we follow them than if we didn't. Because we know that in the US everyone live under the rules, so we can get in trouble if we don't follow them. Yeah.
WV: So, as far as what you've been able to accomplish since you came here to the US, what things are you most proud of, that you've been able to do since you came here.
ST: Well, um, I'm proud of like, I can speak better than I used to before. So, yeah. I'm proud of that, so I can like help my family and my brother who need my help later on.
WV: So are you the one that, do you speak, um, are you only one in your family that speaks English?
ST: Yeah.
WV: Ok. So I guess one of the things that I'm just curious about is, what do you do for fun or in your spare time?
ST: Well, in my spare time, I like to play Takraw, sometimes I read a book.
WV: What was the first one?
ST: Takraw.
WV: What is that?
ST: It's a game. Southeast Asian game.
WV: Uh, could you tell us a bit about it?
ST: Yeah, well, it was [clears throat] the ball is about this size big. It's like, well, you know, it's kinda hard when it's like not really new, it's kind of getting soft. So yeah, it's just like foot volleyball, you call it. You can only use your head, your knee, your side foot and front foot. But you can't use your hand.
WV: So it's kind of like a cross between volleyball and soccer then?
ST: Yeah. Volleyball. Like, yeah, volleyball and soccer, like just only three touch.
WV: Ok. Um, so how, like, what are some of the rules to it, how does it work?
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ST: Three people in a team. Well, you can touch it only three times one side. So you can pass one, to you, and one to her, and then over the net. I can do this only three time and then put it into another side, like just over the net. Just like that.
WV: So what exactly is the ball made of? I think I've seen maybe a picture or two,
ST: Yeah, plastic.
WV: Just plastic?
ST: Hard plastic.
WV: So how does it work with, you know, like scoring, how do you determine who wins?
ST: Well, there's a score, so, like, if you score like, there's a line, just like a, yeah. A line. You have to hit inside of the lines. So, yeah, you get a score, or like put it- there's a lot of activity you can do, called roll spike, back kick, so yeah.
WV: Um [LAUGHTER] I don't know anything about it... so you said roll spike?
ST: Yeah. You flip and kick in the air.
WV: Like, you flip through the air?
ST: Yeah, you kick in the air.
WV: Um, hmm. What kind of court is it played on? Is it cement, do you play in the sand or the grass or?
ST: Well, you can play anywhere, maybe. Yeah, cement. On grass. But, you know, it depends on people, where they wanna play. So you can do that.
WV: Um, let's see. So does the net, is it like a volleyball net?
ST: It's small.
WV: In the one picture I saw,
ST: Yeah, it's smaller.
WV: OK. Just to keep the teams on opposite sides.
ST: Yeah, because, you know, people kick the ball really hard. If you have about this size big, the ball can't go through it. The ball... Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 11
WV: So are you supposed to go, sorry... So you said it's about, maybe,
ST: The ball is about this big.
WV: So the ball is maybe a small watermelon size,
ST: Yeah.
WV: and the net is, are you supposed to shoot through the net?
ST: No, over.
WV: Over. Okay. How high up does it sit? Like, where does the net hang?
ST: Five feet and maybe, yeah. Five feet or five one or two. Or um,
WV: Okay. So it is very [LAUGHTER] sorry, I just find it really interesting, I've just never heard about this before. So it is very difficult to kick up over the net, do you have out of bounds, can you kick outside of-?
ST: well, you can, like, if you kick it out of the line, so it's out, so you won't receive a point.
WV: Mhm.
ST: So you're supposed to get the ball and kick it inside of the line. Where they tell you to kick, because three people in the team. Maybe one people serve it at the back, the other one's going to give another people ball, so the other one is going to spike it. Like, yeah.
WV: So, about how big is the um, I guess, the court?
ST: The court? Yeah, well, probably about this wide. Maybe a bit wider.
WV: So maybe, fifteen feet across? Roughly?
ST: I think so. But I don't really get it down. I would have to check it on the internet.
WV: So do you just decide when you're playing, is there a regular point limit, does it go by time?
ST: No, just like regular point limit.
WV: Ok. So what do you usually, what's the score to win typically?
ST: 15 point.
WV: 50? Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 12
ST: 15.
WV: Oh, [LAUGHTER], 15.
ST: Yeah. But it just, we do it kind of like international count. So, yeah, if I get the ball, I score it. I got one point. If I get the ball, but I didn't score it. The point goes back to 0-1. But like you get the ball. You might, play like that.
WV: So you can lose points?
ST: No, you cannot lose points. If I score yours right?
WV: Mhm.
ST: Right now, I've got the ball, so I score into yours, so I get one point. Next ball, I kick it, but I didn't score it, so the point goes back to 0-1. If you score, then you get 1-1 like me. If you score another one, you get 2-1.
WV: Ok. Gotcha.
ST: If I got the ball, so you score my point first-
WV: Okay. I think I got it. So is that, is that just like from the Karen or Burma area, or is that common all over Southeast Asia?
ST: Maybe not all over. Because they play all over. Not just Karen people. Thai. China. Japanese. Korean. Philippines, Malaysia. Indian. A lot.
WV: Hmm. I've never heard of that before. What was that called again?
ST: Takraw.
WV: How do you spell that?
ST: P-A-K. Space. T-A-K-R-A-W.
WV: T-A-K-R-O what?
ST: R-A-W. T-A-K-R-A-W. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 13
WV: Oh, it's two separate words? Gotcha. So, how often do you play then? Is it something that you-
ST: Well, when we have the time and we're not busy. And it's on a sunny day to play one.
WV: [LAUGHTER] So you haven' t been able to play recently then? With the rain.
ST: not really. When it's cloudy or rainy, you don't really play, because its' kind of cold. Then like we're worried it's going to be slippery too, because you just use only your foot. So yeah, that's why.
WV: So do you play indoors in the winter, or do you guys not play at all here?
ST: We don't really have a space, so we don't really play indoors, so we don't play.
WV: Okay. Um, so what's the uh, sorry, I just looked up at your flag, and I see that you have these little pictures pinned to it, what are those?
ST: No, that's- [LAUGHTER], we just pin that up.
WV: So there's nothing to it.
ST: No, nothing. Just only, we just, yeah... the flag.
WV: So I'm kind of curious, because again, I've seen a couple of these, what exactly does the flag, or the marks and colors on the flag mean?
ST: Um, well, you mean the mark? There is nine like, nine. Is that what you mean?
WV: Well yeah, the lines, the stripes, and then the-
ST: There is nine mark right. It means like nine place.
WV: What does that symbolize?
ST: Nine place. Like, nine place.
WV: So just nine different places?
ST: Yeah. Nine different places.
WV: What exactly is that referring to? Like is it nine specific places, or?
ST: Yeah, nine different places. So, but I don't really know. My parents just told me about it.
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WV: Ok.
ST: So like, we learn about it from school. Nine different places. Or, maybe [LAUGHTER], I don't know.
WV: And what's the, I think that's a drum? The yellow thing in the center?
ST: Yeah, it's kinda maybe drum? Yeah.
WV: Does it, have any specific kind of drum or is it-?
ST: Yeah, specific kind of drum, like for Karen people.
WV: Where is it used?
ST: Used? Like, in it have, like many different kinds of it. Because like, there is not just only one. It has different specific names. So yeah.
WV: So there's like different types of drums, then?
ST: Yeah.
WV: Are they all called the same thing, and there's just different shapes and sizes?
ST: Different shapes and size.
WV: So what kind of, I mean, you know events or things are those drums used for?
ST: You know, some people, they're gonna hit it while they announce things, or yeah. Sometimes, they gonna hit it, like, you know, depends on what situation they got. Like, maybe on the solar they're gonna hit one. So like there's a different drums on the solar, lunar or solar, or something like that. Maybe on a, maybe fast, or celebration they're going to hit, like a different one. It's not the same one. There's, like, many kinds that are different.
WV: Okay. Um, what are those drums called? Do you know?
ST: I just know in my language. [LAUGHTER].
WV: Okay, you don't have a translation for it?
ST: No, no.
WV: Um, so besides, so you have, Karen New Year is in December, is that right?
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ST: January.
WV: Oh, January.
ST: January first.
WV: So what other, uh, do the Karen people have any other specific holidays?
ST: Maybe, Independence Day. Independence, yeah.
WV: When is that?
ST: August 12th.
WV: OH, that's my birthday.
ST: [LAUGHTER] Really?
WV: Yeah. [LAUGHTER]. So that's Karen Independence Day?
ST: Uh-huh. I think it was the revolution day instead. Revolution.
WV: Okay. So is that, is that what started the conflict with Burma?
ST: Uh, yeah. That is. No, it's like the president, like, dead day. Like, they go to a congress, along the congress, like rest, they got killed. So, like they mark it as the revolution day.
WV: So one of the things that I don't know too much about, maybe you could tell me, is, what exactly started the conflict between Burma and Karen?
ST: Well, at first, like, after maybe British leave, but they left the land, so they thought like, maybe Burma, like, so, like, they can just discuss to each other, like if their land goes to like everyone, or something. But after the Karen go and declare, their like land, from Burma, they didn't ask for it. But Burma's like, uh, told them, I don't really know what to call it now. They didn't give the lands to like, so like, they have to fight. So, yeah.
WV: So, Burma didn't honor the deal that was made, is that it?
ST: Kind of like that. If we call it Burma, it's not right, because there's a lot of nations that is Burma, who's not soldier, you know? So yeah, there's a specific name for the soldier that we are fighting with.
WV: Okay, so you guys make a distinction between regular Burmese people and the Burmese military?
ST: Yeah, so if we call Burmese like, that's almost everyone who lives in Burma. So, yeah. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 16
WV: Um, what, term do you use to distinguish the two?
ST: Well, uh, one I don't really what to call it. MSPDC, I don't really know what to call it. In our own language, or Burmese language, we call it like another one.
WV: So you just have a separate term for the military?
ST: Mhm.
WV: So how big is Karen as a state?
ST: Uh, I don't really know, but I use to learn it, but I already forgot.
ST: Like several, eight nations inside of Burma, each nation go to separate one states, so like, you know, we have this big, each one takes a small one. Small one just is a small one after.
WV: So is it organized sort of like the United States the country, but Utah is a state. Is it the same kind of thing?
ST: Yeah, it's just like another state, but in here, but just everyone is like the same. Like same nation, same- you know like, but this place is different. Different nations that are separated from another one. So, like, everyone have their own state. They speak different language. Just not the same. The Karen are, but Burmese is just the dominant language in Burma. Everyone speaks it.
WV: So do most people speak multiple languages there/ So does everyone learn Burmese, but you might learn Karen as well?
ST: Burmese is the most dominant language. Because we call it Burma, so, like everyone is just supposed to know Burmese.
WV: So how many languages do you speak?
ST: Two or three. Three maybe? Yeah.
WV: So what are the three?
ST: Just my own language. And then English, and then, yeah, Thai.
WV: Okay. And did you pick up Thai in the camp? When you were growing up?
ST: Yeah.
[31:39 BRIEF PAUSE] Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 17
WV: Um, so, if things in Burma were, you know, not as chaotic, would you wanna move back, or do you like living here in the United States?
[Faucet in the kitchen is turned on]
ST: Probably maybe just, stay here for a while. And but I'm not sure about going back. Probably some time I might go back.
WV: Would you go back to visit, or would you go back to live?
ST: Just for a visit.
WV: So you said that you had a sister who is still in Thailand, is that right?
ST: Mhm. Sister and brothers.
WV: So did they grow up in the camp, too, and just not leave? Or-
ST: Uh, yeah. Because they already have wife and husband, so they just stayed there with their husband and wife.
WV: Oh, so they just stayed with their own families.
ST: Mhm.
WV: Okay.
WV: Trying to think. So is there anything else that, I mean, you, maybe that I haven't asked you, that you'd like to talk about or,
ST: Uh, well, probably. [LAUGHTER]. Not. I, can't think of anything.
WV: I guess, when, so Chit Moe contacted you about meeting with us, right?
ST: Yes.
WV: So what, I guess was your initial interest in talking to us?
ST: Talking to us? Well, like... [PAUSE]. So, just like, if we talk about ourselves. If you come visit, if you're new, and you talk about our nation, or you question us so you know about part of it, so yeah.
WV: Ok. Um, okay, I think that's most of the questions that I have, do Meagan or Bethany have any questions? Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 18
BH: I, I have some questions.
ST: Okay, sure.
BH: Um, so, back- back to the game that you were talking about, it just sounds really interesting. Takraw, right?
ST: Yeah, Takraw.
BH: Uh, is that a game that you learned in the refugee camp?
ST: Yeah, we learn it since we were little. We used to play. We just tried to play random things.
BH: Okay, so you played that quite a bit there?
ST: Just tried to kick around.
BH: Um, are there other games that you would play in the camps?
ST: Uh, soccer as well.
BH: Just those two pretty much?
ST: Mhm.
BH: and was that because, you were there, as a young a pretty young child, right?
ST: Yeah.
BH: So- oh, sorry.
ST: Go ahead.
BH: So, is it kind of most of what you would do in the day, or did you have other responsibilities?
ST: Well, because we're students, so we're supposed to read, but I was lazy to read. So, yeah. Sometimes, after we read, we just kinda go and just maybe watch movies. Except for when we had free time we just go out and shoot birds. Well, we never found, or when we never found them we just kind of go like that. When we have a friend we played soccer.
BH: Okay. So it's cool that you kinda had different activities.
ST: Mhm.
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 19
BH: Different things that you could do by yourself and things that you could do with other people.
ST: Yep.
BH: And, um, I... I actually, I'm curious about this-
ST: Oh, that's a calendar.
BH: A calendar?
ST: Yeah.
BH: Is that from Burma?
ST: Yeah, I think that's form Burma, or-
BH: Is that Burmese written on there? Burmese or Karen?
ST: It's Karen. It's,yeah, it's Karen.
BH: Cool. Is that, I guess, is the calendar system the same?
ST: Yeah, the same, but, you know, we have like New Years, and like, you know, sometimes we kind of like there's some another month, there are differences from USA calendars. So yeah, that's how we do it. Sometimes we compare. Sometimes which one... [LAUGHTER].
BH: Okay. I guess, I'm not really close enough to like, look at the, the material, but.
ST: You can go and look
BH: I can go and look?
ST: Yeah, yeah.
BH: Because it looks, um, okay. So it's like
ST: There is- there is an English, I think.
BH: Oh, there is?
ST: Yeah, I think so.
BH: Cool. So it, I mean, it looks like, uh, I was thinking maybe it was something kind of like your carpet here, that was, uh, or the rugs that was maybe liked stitched together, but it looks like something that's printed off. Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 20
ST: Yeah, that one is printed off.
BH: Okay. Cool. I might have had another question, do you have any questions? [To Meagan]
MG: So you said you were going to church.
ST: Yeah.
MG: What religion are you?
ST: Christian.
MG: Okay.
WV: So it just like a general Christian church that you go to?
ST: Yeah, just like that.
WV: Okay.
BH: I just thought of another. [LAUGHTER].
ST: Sure.
BH: So I'm looking, I'm trying to look at different pictures. And so I see up here there are these two photographs, are either of these, are you in these?
ST: Yeah, I'm in the small one. My brother is in the other one.
BH: In this one?
ST: Uh-huh. When I came to Logan.
BH: Yeah? SO these pictures are from when you first got here?
ST: Bear Lake.
BH: Oh, Bear Lake?
ST: Mhm.
BH: Cool, I was just curious about those. Is there, and this is just a curiosity, but is there anything about Burma, or Karen that you, uh, that you kinda miss?
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 21
ST: Well, a thing I miss? I don't really know about what I miss, but you know, a good thing that I miss, because in Thailand there's a war, that we didn't get to face it. So yeah, good thing for us, so we didn't have to flee. Yeah, but, if you ask the elder people who used to live, like sixty or seventy years, if you ask them, they will you about the stories of like having to flee from Burma. Or like the army, yeah. If it like getting dark, they have to pack up things, and call up their family and start leaving. Yeah.
WV: So your family was able to avoid most of that, then?
ST: Well, I don't really choose to ask my parents about that.
WV: Mhm.
WV: You don't really remember having to deal with any of that.
ST: No, I didn't have to, because I was just born in the camp. And we couldn't really go anywhere, so, I didn't know like, what happened later. I know that we're like still a kid when it happened, so I didn't really know about anything.
WV: Do you guys have any other questions, or- [PAUSE] So, I mean, I guess we're just about done, then. Is there anything else that you, maybe, again, that we haven't asked? That you'd still like to talk about?
ST: Probably not. [LAUGHTER]. I don't really know how to ask questions.
WV: I guess, maybe, okay, final question. How exactly are these made? These rugs? I've seen a lot of them.
ST: Yeah, just like a carpet for us. Where we lived, we used to cover our floor with this.
WV: Mhm.
ST: Like, if you cover your floor with this, and it gets dirty, it doesn't like, get on the carpet. So you can clean it easily.
WV: Right.
ST: Yeah, so yeah. It's made with plastic, I think. I'm not really sure.
WV: I was going to say, because are these from- did you bring these from Burma, or did you get them here?
ST: Just get them here in a convenience store.
Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project: Snay Tun May 19, 2015 22
WV: So these would normally be, made out of this kind of plastic material then, or are these usually like uh, cloth or something that these are usually made out of?
ST: Probably, I am not sure about them being cloth.
WV: Or, cloth... what else do you make rugs out of? [LAUGHTER]. I clearly don't know much about rugs. Um, yeah. That's just about all the questions that I've got. So thanks again for being willing to meet with us. And I think we're good.
ST: So you wanna see the game? I'll show you the games.
WV: Sure.
ST: Yeah?
[Movement. End of recording.]


Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, Cache Valley Refugee Oral History Project, FOLK COLL 67




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  1. CVRP_Snay_Tun_2015May19_Van_de_Water_T_FinalAugust.pdf