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Aye Mi San




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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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.