Geography of Home




When I arrived in Minneapolis in 1987 from New York, one of my first questions was “Where are all of the Black folks?”  I was a first-year graduate student at the University of Minnesota and wasn’t seeing too many Black students on campus.  Eventually I started meeting other students and making friends…..

Dacia Durham (English)

I left my motherland, India, my family, and came to the USA with my husband.  I still remember it was my second day in the USA and I went out for a little walk.  I noticed that the streets were empty; nobody was there.  It was so quiet that I could hear my footsteps.  I never experienced that quietness on the road before.  In my country you can see people walking and chatting on the street and most of the day it’s full of people.…

                                  Sarasawati Devi (from Hindi)

A good Hmong girl is someone who gets up early and cooks for the family.  She cleans the house, by sweeping the floors, washing the dishes, straightening the couches.  She does all this quietly and by herself.  At least I did since I was the only girl in my family…. 

                                    Mai Neng Moua  (English)

Even though I’ve lived in America for over 22 years, I’ve never kept America as my home.  The taste of having life but not having a country is very bitter.  But this is the fate of my people as refugees….

Sambath Ouk (from Khmer/Cambodian)

… At that time we were walking to the grocery and I got lost.  And I tried to come back to my home, but I didn’t even know where my house was.  And it was snowing, very snowy. And then I asked someone walking on the streets where 38th and Chicago was, and he told me you cannot walk; it’s way way far away.  You have to catch the bus.  But he told me the easiest way is I will call the police and tell them you are lost.  And he called the police, but when I saw the police I was afraid and I cried.  The police told me “You’re lost, you didn’t do anything.  I’ll take you to your home, don’t worry.”  And then they brought me to my home….

Dega Hussein (from Somali)

…We were on the edge of the more “Jewish” blocks.  The Catholic kids went to parochial school so we only got together after school & summers.  We played outside together & had great fun.  I was never invited into their homes.  Sometimes someone would write “dirty jew” on our sidewalk.  I never could understand about prejudice.  It made no sense to me to not like someone because of their religion or color of their skin.  There was a lot of discrimination in the 40’s…

                                    Lois Libby Juster (English)

   Differences between Laos and the U.S. about Buddhism

1) In the U.S., a monk cannot take the bowl and walk around to receive food, but one can do by invitation and receive food house by house.  In Laos, we can do this by tradition.

2) In the U.S. (Minnesota) Lao monks can drive a car.  In Laos, it is not allowed but monks are allowed to ride a bicycle in villages and suburbs….

                        N.E. Minneapolis resident (from Laotian)

….The snowman that we made, maybe not the best but we had fun like never before.  We made snow angels on the ground and the hours were like minutes;  time didn’t exist – our first experience in the snow.

Victor Martinez   (from Spanish)

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