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Aye Mi San

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Aye Mi San was born in the Karen state of Burma. She has two children, a daughter and a son. She arrived in the United States in December 2015. She currently lives in St. Paul and is a student at the Hubbs Center in St. Paul, MN.

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0:03:54

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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

Aye Mi San Transcription

“Calendar is My First Teacher”

My name is Aye Mi San. I’m from Burma (Myanmar) in Karen State. When I was five years old, I used to read and write on a slate for my education. Sometimes, I wanted to read, but there was no book for me. I used a calendar as a book.
One day I tried to read the word at the top of the calendar. My grandfather asked me, “Can you read it?” I answered, “no,” but I said it pya kar don so my grandfather laughed at me. He taught me how to pronounce it, pya g din in Burmese. My grandfather also taught me how a calendar is important for me: he dates, days, weeks, months and a year in the calendar. Sometimes the colours and the moon shape are included. The date is representative of the day (24hrs). There are seven days in a week and four weeks in a month, sometimes five weeks in a month. There are also twelve months in a year. The special colours in the calendar shows the weekend and full moon, half moon, and new moon. He also gave me one proverb, a chin ni de yay lu ko m shout bu (time and tide wait for no man). I learned many things from my grandfather about the calendar like: how to count the number and memorized days and months. I was interested for it gave me literacy.
The time that I have a job, I started using the calendar as the work plan. I worked in a small clinic at the small village. I worked as a lab technician. I planned my time for sitting in clinic, going on trips, teaching at school, and sending statistics. It is easy for me to manage my time with calendar.
When I arrived in the USA, I brought my calendar with me because I wrote my notes and some of my family member’s medical appointment or others. One day I saw the number on my refrigerator. It was a drawing by my daughter. She asked me, “Do you know what this means? I make my calendar because my birthday is coming soon.” I understand that the calendar is now useful for my daughter.
As a result, a calendar is important for me and my family to memorize everything we did and plan for the future.