Every migrant has a story. Explore our database of migrant stories contributed by Salad Bowl Project readers. Are you a migrant? Add your story to the database by clicking the "Tell Us Your Story" button below.
I come from a family of migrants. My grandparents are Chinese and came to settle their new lives in Bangkok, Thailand over 80 years ago. Throughout my entire life, I have been raised in a bicultural context. My family always celebrates Songkran Day (Thai New Year) and other national holidays. Meanwhile, we never forget to have our family reunion during Chinese New Year and to honor our ancestors at the burial site during Qingming (The Chinese Tomb-Sweeping Festival). I have been taught by all of them to cherish diversity, tolerance, coexistence, and respect to others whose cultures are completely different from ours.
When I finished my high school in Bangkok, I got selected by my government to study as an undergraduate in Mexico City. Since then, I have experienced a new life as a migrant myself. In Mexico and many Latin American cities I used to live in, I never lost sight of being myself and preserving my own culture as well as my family background. However, I always was an open-minded person who listened to other people's life stories and shared my own with them. To be honest, I really had so many wonderful moments enjoying rich cultural conversations with them and helping one another expand our knowledge of the world.
Now, once again, I'm a migrant myself, finishing my last semester of my master's degree in the Latin American Studies Program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. To me, migration is unquestionably important. It is not only because of its direct connection to my life, but also due to the lessons I have gained from my travel experiences and education abroad.
To me, migration is unquestionably important. It is not only because of its direct connection to my life, but also due to the lessons I have gained from my travel experiences and education abroad.
At the end of the day, migration is not a harmful subject at all, but intolerance, discrimination, and disrespect are. Therefore, why don't we just help one another tell beautiful stories of migrants—kids of migrants, even grandchildren and great-grandchildren of migrants—to our society?
Submitted by Tipaporn Attasivanon
Originally from Thailand, Tipa is currently a Master's candidate at the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University.
As an individual that decided to move to the United States for university, I might talk about the persistence of brain drain in the Mexican context and the challenges that I have experienced as an educated migrant in Washington, D.C. However, I'd rather talk about my experience living in a border town in the north of Nuevo Leon, close to Laredo, Texas.
Anahuac is a small town whose main economic activities are the maquila industry, livestock, and small enterprises. Due to its closeness with the border, the lack of well-paid employment, and cartel violence—part of its population has decided to move to Texas, especially to Laredo, San Antonio, and Dallas to start a new life, while another part travels every day between the U.S.-Mexico border for work or study purposes. This is a very typical dynamic of Anahuac inhabitants.
"she was being paid US$6 per day in a local laundry service business and she couldn’t afford her two daughters' higher education"
I grew up really close to this kind of lifestyle. Recently, my aunt decided to look for better job opportunities in Laredo, Texas since she was being payed US$6 per day in a local laundry service business and she couldn’t afford her two daughters' higher education. Now she is working as a housekeeper in Laredo, Texas and her income allows her to afford things that she couldn’t have afforded before.
In this kind of context its really difficult to stand against migration for economic reasons, since it is part of the normal routine. I consider that migration has represented economic relief for many people and we should respect their decision to look for a higher standard of living. In the end, this is what we all are looking for.
Submitted by Anonymous
These stories are compiled from voluntary submissions from Salad Bowl Project visitors.