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Be Mo

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Be Mo was born in Burma in 1993 and grew up in a Thai refugee camp. In 2007, her family moved to the United States, living first in Phoenix, AZ and then St. Paul, MN. She is currently a student at St. Paul Community College.

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0:03:34

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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.

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Be Mo Transcription
“Singing Melodies but Heart’s Still Broken”
My name is Be Mo and I was born in Burma but raised in Thai refugee camp. My ethnicity is Karen. But besides Karen, I can speak the languages Thai and English. We lived Chai Mai, Thailand for ten years. It wasn’t easy to make a living in Thailand so education was first.
I also went to a Thai middle school with my childhood best friend, Wah Paw. She is like a real sister to me. I love her to death. We will always be there for one another through obstacles. I still remember one time when we got in trouble in Thai school. We didn’t know that we couldn't wear our Karen traditional bag, but we did, and both of us got hit by the teacher fifty times with many long wooden sticks. It was one of the most painful days for us.
Before I left [to] the U.S., Wah gave me a present. Like everyone else in the village, she was also poor, but she gifted me the most memorable and precious gift I ever received: a Karen traditional bag. It was beautiful made of 100% cotton with the colors of red, white, and blue. It had our Karen flag with instruments. I couldn't accept it because it was an expensive gift, but she was my best friend and this would be the only thing from her
My family arrived to Phoenix, Arizona on September 13, 2007. From there, I started at Cortez High School. After sophomore year, my family moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where I graduated from Como Park Senior High School. Now I'm currently attending Saint Paul College.
I am very proud of myself. My parents are proud of me and, if my best friend Wah Paw was here, she would have been proud of me too. Even though years pass by I still think of my best friend Wah Paw. I have kept her bag for seven years now. I would wear it to church every Sunday with my bible in it. Our traditional Karen bag is worn on the side and it makes me feel good because I also feel as if Wah is always by my side. It was a long journey from Thailand to the United States. I am always missing my hometown and my best friend, but they will always be remembered and cherished in my heart.