Category Archives: California

Minako Sano.

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to live in the United States in 1955. My immigration status then was “spouse of an American Citizen.” I studied English at a women’s college in Tokyo known for its excellent English studies program, and after graduation, I worked as interpreter/translator for the occupation personnel under General MacArthur in Tokyo ... Read More »

Miki Ohno

A calligraphy teacher from Japan is beginning a new life in the U.S. She spoke from her ESL class at the San Mateo Adult School. Watch the video clip below. Read More »

Kansen Chu

He wasn’t always San Jose City Councilmember Kansen Chu. When he arrived in the States, he had been Kansen Chu the engineer and then Kansen Chu the waiter. Though he grew up in Taiwan and attended the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology with a major in electrical engineering, his parents and two brothers had followed his uncle to ... Read More »

Maral Haddeland

Maral Haddeland lived in Quebec, Canada, outside Montreal. She lived with her mother and father, two brothers, and one sister. Her family owned a dairy farm and sold milk from their 50 cows. Her dad was a farmer and worked with the hired workmen to keep the farm going, though everybody pitched in with helping on the farm. Maral’s family ... Read More »

Jennie Mehtala Shank Newman and Her Sisters

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s life could be difficult in Northern Finland. I was told that my grandfather Mehtala made tar, and charcoal from the wood the tar was extracted from. That was a thriving business in Finland; wooden ships built in England needed tar to caulk seams. Finland sent what was needed via a vast network of ... Read More »

Ninel Breslau

As I walked into the Stevenson House, I noticed that everyone waiting to meet us was smiling. They seemed genuinely happy to see a big group of 63 girls walk into their midst. We were there to interview the residents of Stevenson House about their lives and learn a little more about their immigrant pasts. I sat down in front ... Read More »

Maria

The following interview was conducted by Castilleja School student, Meg Johnson, at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.The name of the interviewee has been changed. I was born in the capital of Mexico, Mexico City. After living there I was in Michoacán for 10 years. Michoacán is close to Mexico City; it is very beautiful and is a tourist ... Read More »

Jose Demetrio Renteria

The following interview of Jose was done by students from Castilleja School in Palo Alto, Nyanika Kapoor and Katherine Moldow – at the Day Worker Center. What was the hardest part about leaving Mexico? Jose: The most difficult part was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to see my family. What was your life like in Mexico? Jose: My ... Read More »

Richard

The following interview was conducted at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View by Castilleja School students, Aimee An and Heejin Hahn. RICHARD: My name is Richard. My mom—she is from Sweden, Stockholm and my dad is from Samoa. Do you know Samoa? HH: I think so. A little bit. RICHARD: I will bring the map to show you. I’m ... Read More »

Myung Sook Whang

I was born in North Korea and moved to South Korea when I was 7 years old.  Although I was young, I remember it being a very difficult move. I studied home economics at the university where I met my husband. We got married and had 2 children. My side of the family was wealthy- they were pretty well off ... Read More »

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