In our final post in this series, Love For Myanmar presents conversations with Myanmar Native, Chin Chin, and her orientation with life in the United States. She has volunteered and accompanied LFM on many mission trips helping in a variety of ways – from organizing and playing games with the children at our orphanages to serving as our interpreter with village leaders, pastors, and teachers to explaining cultural traditions and practices to team members. She is a dear and long-time friend of LFM visiting friends and relatives in the United States and will returning to her people group in Myanmar of whom she loves.
(LFM) Other than family, what do you miss about Myanmar?
(Chin Chin) I miss eating rice, tea leaf salad ( tea leaf pickle) which is the main traditional food for Myanmar and drinking tea with my friends or family at the tea shop. I miss warm weather too.
(LFM) In your opinion, what should the USA adopt, learn, copy from Myanmar that would make the USA better?
(Chin Chin) I am not sure for this and I think it will not be easy to adopt or copy something from other country. Because these two countries have a very different background. In my opinion, Myanmar people still keep the tradition of our ancestors’ custom or culture. For an example, most parents or teachers still teach the children to give full respect to older people even though they don’t know each other. And wearing a short skirt at church, monastery, school or pagoda places is strictly forbidden until today. Sometimes it’s good to visit or live for a while in an undeveloped country like Myanmar, so that you would see and learn from reality rather than just reading a book about that country. It would be good if people don’t use credit card a lot here. It’s good for somethings but it can still make you get into debt if you aren’t aware of how to use it well. Honestly, some people are a bit fat here from eating fast food. So it would be good if they could eat the way Myanmar people eat. If possible, decrease eating fast food and increase eating healthy fresh food and vegetables. And sometimes use your energy rather than using an automatic machine. So that you would still remain healthy.
(LFM) When you get back to Myanmar, what do you want to be sure your family and friends better understand about the USA?
(Chin Chin) I would like to let them know about the people from here are really friendly and still stay close to God compared to other States like California.
(LFM) As a young person, have you noticed any differences between what USA young people talk about, worry about struggle with? If so, what are some of those differences?
(Chin Chin) It would be about education and choosing a job. We don’t have a very good education background, but USA young people do. But there are many good and bad schools or colleges to choose here so they worry and have to be careful which school or college will be the right place for them. In Myanmar, most students just go to school or college to get a degree but learn nothing. They prefer to get experience from work so they just choose to work that is available to them. When I ask some of my friends here what are they going to do after school, some are not sure for their job but some they know what they want to do. However there are a bit competitive here for jobs.
(LFM) Is there any advice you would like to pass along to those who are thinking about coming to the USA for the first time?
(Chin Chin) First, it would be good to prepare for the weather. It can be hotter or colder here than the place they come from. May be it can be the same weather, however, you can’t know what’s like for a place you have never been before. It’s good to be aware of it and make sure they have enough money for themselves unless they have family or relatives or friends to get help when they need something or get into trouble. And it would be a good idea if they could bring some of their favorite traditional food which they can’t find it here. In my experienced, I missed Burma food a lot at first.