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Record 160/261
Cassette recorded oral history interview with Ge Jouapao Lor, 21 January 1997 {X: identifies the unnamed interviewer; G: identifies the subject, Mr. Jouapao Lor. Open brackets [ ] or bracketed words indicate that either a word or phrase is not understood, or that correct spelling for the word is unclear}. X: January 21st and the oral history is with Mr….? Go ahead Ge. G: Ge Jouapao Lor. X: And the first question, when did you come to Oshkosh and why? G: I come to Oshkosh on June 1984. And the reason I move here to Oshkosh because I got a job here in Oshkosh. So I move here from Appleton to Oshkosh. X: What did you think when you first came to Oshkosh? G: Well first thing, like a little strange but after while [ ]. First couple years are little hard to live here in Oshkosh because a lot of people don't know and some people just say, "Hey man, go back to your country!" And a lot of things happened like that. But after 6 or 7 years things move pretty good now. X: What do you like about living in Oshkosh? G: Well, I like to live here in Oshkosh because [ ] right here and the lake. And you could go fishing. And right now there are a lot of nice people around here. And actually right now I have lot of my family moving with me here in Oshkosh. So I think here is good place to live, right in Oshkosh. X: How did you get your family into the United States? How does that work? G: Well, actually it's one by one or something like that. First thing, I move here and my brother move from Philadelphia. And then my other brother moved from Sheboygan. That kinda my family here in Oshkosh. X: What customs do you find strange? G: Well, the first full year of my life in the United States was pretty strange for me. And [ ] X: What people wear, activities? Just anything that you found really strange. G: I think that pretty strange for me was culture or actually was custom or whatever. Like the kids, they go, like my kids, the son I got here in the United States, my sons are five and my older daughter about eight. And they grew over here in the United States. And they go along with the culture, the customs, everything. Me and my wife are a little [ ] because go over in Laos and [ ] more than ten year and our kids are pretty much like American kids. They speak English at home, and they do a lot of things like American kids. And for us it's a little harder because we cannot speak English good. And my kids, they cannot speak Hmong good either. The opposite [ ] Out there is Laos, you can teach your kids whatever they want. Whatever you want. But right here, you cannot. Because the law. You cannot hit them, you cannot touch them or whatever. And right here you got TV, radio, everything bad news or good news on there. So the kids learn from there. So harder to teach a kid to be a good person or something like that. Or like a we go different way and the kid go differently. The culture [ ] separate. Just the way, lot of [ ] more people [ ] older sons. They [ ] culture or this here in the United States. [ ] And I think the younger parents, they do a lot better because they adapt easier with the culture or the customs. And easy for them to teach their kid or get, or know how to teach them kids. And they, the older parents are harder because they [ ] the culture. The hard part of living here in the United States, like with me, the older parent, [ ] I had to change. And out there in Laos you don't have to say "sorry" to your kid at all. Whatever you do, right or wrong, you just say that right. But right here, if you're wrong, you have to say "sorry" to them too. That's harder for older parents to adapt to culture. X: What do you miss about Laos? G: Well, out there in Laos, I miss that because my homeland and I'm born there. And I have a lot of relatives that are over there. And I used to live there so I miss that country and my parents all die there. And actually I miss because it's my homeland. X: What customs do you continue to follow in the United States? G: Not very much at all. Because out there in Laos we had our own religion. In the time I be here, I became Christian in 1983 and now all we do to Christian. And [ ] little bit on our clothing. [ ] and I think the food we eat at home [ ] and otherwise [ ]. And like the Lao people, the Hmong peoples, lot of them, they had our own region, I think they're gonna [ ] long time. Now for me, I think [ ] gone. My kids in adopted country, they [ ] 100% in everything they do. Just like Americans here. X: What American customs have you adopted and you liked? G: Well, I think [ ] American customs because I become a Christian. And pretty much I go to church every Sunday like other American people. And I do lot of volunteer things for the community and for the Hmong people. And I [ ] like other Americans. Because I live [ ] American people and I [ ] my house about the same as theirs. And I think I got a lot of customs from the American people. X: Okay.
Oral History Interview with Ge Jouapao Lor -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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