Tag Archives: tklein_paly

Journey from South Africa to Southern California

Jacqui can still remember when her brother Mark came home one day in June 1976 and told her parents that South Africa had no future and that the family should leave together. Jacqui was 8 at the time, but Mark was ten years older and had recently entered into the police force due to South Africa’s compulsory military service. It ... Read More »

A Postwar New Start (Germany)

Bombs falling from the sky, the walls and ceiling of the bunker shudder and rain dust onto the cowering citizens that line the floor. My grandmother is one of these people, bundled in a mass of shawls and elbows of her mother. For privacy reasons, my grandmother will be known as Jane for this retelling. Jane, my grandmother on my ... Read More »

Cham Yean Fled to the Jungle (Cambodia)

Cham Yean grew up in a poor family in the small country of Cambodia in the 1960s and 70s. During this time, Cambodia was in the midst of a civil war, and bombs would drop frequently, without warning, and kill many people. Because of this, Cham had to live her daily life amidst the fear of whether she would make ... Read More »

Opportunity at Prestigious University (Canada)

My father has always loved puzzles, logic, and mathematics, winning many competitions in chess, math, and physics. Stuart Fiske was born in 1964. Because his father was both a lawyer and a farmer he grew up between an apartment in Montreal, Canada, where he went to school, and a beef farm in Ontario. An only son with 4 sisters, he ... Read More »

Chia-Ning Yu, Computer Engineer (Taiwan)

My mother and her sister were born into a middle class family in Taichung, Taiwan. There, they lived a comfortable life, though one without many luxuries, like going on vacation or attending private school. She and her family believed that in order for her to get a well paying job, she needed a master’s degree from a university in America. ... Read More »

Immigrant 3 Times

“There’s a way to do it better — find it” (Thomas Edison). This quote rings true for the millions of families who have packed up and moved to the United States (US) since the late 1900s. And this was the same for Arjun (name changed for privacy) in 2001, when he left home in New Delhi, India and moved to ... Read More »

A Perfect Match (India & Zambia)

A mother, born in the heart of India but grew up in a different country every year. A father, born in small-town India but grew up in Zambia. A mother whose father was in the navy and grew up eating a wide variety of foods. A father whose parents were strictly vegetarian and won’t kill a fly. A mother who ... Read More »

Starting Over After War (Vietnam)

Both my parents are immigrants from Asia, (my mom is from Vietnam and my dad is from India), but I chose my Mom’s story for this essay because she has a very interesting story in my opinion. Her tale is exciting and dramatic. It is a tale of going from privilege and comfort to struggles and hardship, and the lessons ... Read More »

Mother-Daughter Disconnect (Philippines)

My mom is only technically an immigrant. A newborn in 1962, her family moved to Upstate New York when she was only seven months old. During the interview with my mom, I asked her if she ever wanted to go back to the Philippines. I already knew the answer. The real story starts with my grandmother. When she was a ... Read More »

Immigration Story of Rogelio Sotelo (Mexico)

My father has always been an active man, always eager to learn something new and prepared for whatever was to come. Rogelio Sotelo was born on July 27, 1973 in the town of Jamay, Jalisco, into a middle class family of five girls and four boys. As a young child, through elementary school, he would wake up every morning and ... Read More »

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