Personal Narrative: My Family In Laos

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In August 14, 1983 I was born in Fresno, California. My family consists of my parents Xao Chang and Mao Yang, three sisters Youa, Yer and Vicky, and three brothers Bee, Davis and Doua. My family originally lived in Laos before they fled to Thailand by crossing over the Mekong River. After 2 years of living in the refugee camps in Thailand, my grandma was the first member of my family to immigrate to the United States in 1976. Followed by my parents and their relatives, 2 years later. My family immigrated to the United States as Hmong refugees after the Secret War with the Pathet Laos. When my parents came to the States in 1978, my extended family switched their religion from Animism to Catholics and my immediate family switched religion from…show more content…
I grew up in a poor neighborhood in Central Fresno. My friends were all Hmong, like myself. However we were not allowed to bring our friends home. My parents did not allowed any of my siblings to go out and meet up with their friends because my parents had this idea that my siblings were either going to get them locked up in jail, join a gang, or get pregnant. My parents had always emphasized that all my siblings and I were going to graduate from college and all marry into another Hmong family. I didn’t know or understand what racism, discrimination, and stereotypes was until I was in school and was exposed to other cultural groups, which resulted in my experience of childhood bullying. Students from my elementary school made comments that my family and I ate dogs and cats, made fun of my Asian eyes, and mocked my language by saying ching chong over and over again, even though I had clearly stated that I was Hmong and not Chinese. As the years went by, the bullying got worse when students would tell me that I was a nobody and that Hmong people sucked because we didn’t have a country of our…show more content…
My second oldest sister was the first member in my immediate family to move out of my parent’s house to live with her Mexican boyfriend. During this time my parents thought that this was the ultimate betrayal, leaving the household and dating someone outside of our nationality. However, that was not the ultimate betrayal that left my parents heart-broken and ashamed. In late 2001, my sister gave birth to my nephew and married in 2002 with her Mexican husband in Las Vegas. My brother-in-law did not pay for my sister, nor did they have a Hmong wedding in California for my parents. In my culture, the groom has to pay a price for the bride and because my brother-in-law did not, my parents felt ashamed of themselves. They blamed themselves thinking that they weren’t good parents. My mom also told me frequently the embarrassment my parents felt when people would ask them why they weren’t invited to my sister’s wedding, when the truth was no one in my family attended her wedding in Las
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