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Htun Lin

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Htun was born in Karen State, Burma. His father was killed by Burmese soldiers in 1998, and Htun grew up with a single mother. He lived in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border for thirteen years where he learned how to film and edit video. He came to St. Paul, MN in September 2014.

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0:02:43

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Htun Lin Transcription
My name is Htun Lin. I am Karen. The story I would like to share with you is about my hard experience. I grew up in a poor family. My father died when I was thirteen years old. I lived with a single mother, so she couldn’t send me to study because life is so hard in a country with a civil war. My father was killed by Burmese soldiers in the forest in 1998. He was a sinless villager and he didn’t do anything wrong. I have never forgotten about it. “Revenge?” No, I have never thought about it. But, I believe the saying that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
My homeland is Burma, but it is not stable because of revolution between government and ethnic groups. I realized that I could no longer continue to study in my country because I didn’t have money to further my education. Therefore, I spent thirteen years of my life in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border to get a better education. After that, I knew the answer that a refugee camp is a temporary settlement where people who are suffering from war and natural disaster come to live. We could never build stable lives in the refugee camps.
As I grow older, my thought has changed from before. My life is now the same as a piece of cotton, blowing in the wind. I need to find a stable place where peace and freedom are born for my future.
I immigrated to the United States in September 2014 to build a new life. I have learned that the three most important things in the U.S. are education, money, and time, the things that are very powerful in the world. The government, people’s rights, living standards, education, and the economy in the United States are all very different. Now, people are struggling in their lives with education and money. Now, I start to set my new hope and my new home.
Although I moved to the U.S., I will never forget my Karen people. I still feel a part of them and their struggle. We are struggling for peace and freedom. Some of Karen people have sacrificed their lives for our country and our people. It is meaningful to sacrifice our lives. One day, the world will really know who we are, why we have to revolt, and what we want. The truth will never be hidden. This is my story that I would like to share with you. I hope that my life in the U.S. will be more comfortable than before.