Pah Na

Interviewer: Today I’m gonna be talking with Pah about his favorite culture experiences growing up and what it meant for him growing up as an Asian American, so first, Pah do you have any non-English names?

Pah: I do, I actually have a pretty long story about how I got my name, so I was born in Mae Sai Thailand, which is two hours away from the refugee camp where I actually lived, and when my family came to Mae Sai to visit me after I was born, they went back to the refugee camp but none of them had grabbed my name and so the zone leader of our area put down my name as Pah Na who was an famous Thai action movie star, so my real name would’ve been Sa Lamu. And when my parents address me, if they’re speaking to me in English, they call me Pah, but otherwise, they call me Du Thi, which is a nickname my grandpa gave me.

INT: So you have three names? Wow

Pah: Yeah, in my country, people go by nicknames. It’s pretty common to not go by your government name.

INT: Wow, I didn’t realize that. Favorite cultural experience growing up?

Pah: My favorite and most impactful experience was the summer after my seventh grade year I- there’s a rite of passage for young boys in where I’m from, it’s like a Bhuddist rite of passage where you basically become a novice monk for a week, for a week I was a novice monk learning about the story of Budhha, mediating in the morning, and following the ten basic precepts

INT: That’s pretty cool, anything else you want to say?

Pah: It was just really cool, and there’s a second part of the passage when you do it again when you’re 19 or 21. It’s possible I return this summer, next summer, I don’t know.

INT: Yeah, now’s the perfect time to get back into it again. Well, thank you very much Pah!