Tears Leading to a Treasure: An Asian American’s Dream in America
Tyra Kyaw, Honorable Mention
Living in the bay area of California, I come across many Asian Americans who shared the same dream of living in America. I hear many stories from a simple life style changes to many challenges. Today, I am telling a story of my families who immigrated to California.
In early 1970, my great aunt immigrated to San Francisco from Myanmar (Burma) with the dream to live in America. She was a single mother with 3 young children. Although she was educated and lived wealthy life in Myanmar, when she came to United States, she lived in a very tiny basement, worked a low paid job, and raised the children. She struggled to earn a living. There were times she did not have work. There were times her children were sick, and she had no help. Yet, she made it and lived her dream.
Late 1980, my great aunt welcomed my mother to U.S.A. for better education. My mother was 13 years old when she decided to come here, just like everyone with a beautiful dream of living here. When she arrived, it was not easy for her. She did not speak English. When she started her middle school, she faced culture differences as she walked into the classroom. There were no one spoke her language, and she had no friends. She came home and there weren’t parents next to her where she could put her arms around to snuggle, or to give bear hugs!
In her first year in America, she gave up a lot to live here. It was a fall season, as she walked to school, her tears rolling down her cheeks as the leaves fallen and scattered on the sidewalk, with a cold windy breeze. She did not have parents who attended the school events, nor took her to after school activities. She was determined. She sacrificed living in a warm nest of her parents to fulfill her dream of living in America. Yet, my mother becomes an educator. Not only she fulfilled her dreams, she is now being a mentor and educator of many Asian Americans.
As for me, I am the first generation of the Asian American. I was born into a warm cozy home, where my parents nurtured and surrounded by all my family in the house. My parents made a good living where I can attend the public school. But, I never forget my family history of how they made sacrifices. My parents allow me to learn the value of being Asian American.
For now, I am only a student in the elementary school. But, as my mother and my family tears over the years, have given me a treasure of living as Asian American. I am proud to be Burmese American. One day…I hope to be a leader of the Asian American Community; I hope to cultivate my culture, and other Asian Americans.