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Thu 30 Mar 2017
Living in America
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 18 February 2003 00:00

This week I want to share with you two letters I received from Thai teenagers living abroad with their parents. I think it is interesting to compare how they view Thailand. The first letter is from 15-year-old Ploy. She was born in America and she considers herself an American teenager.

All of my life I have compared Thailand to America. My conclusion is that I prefer America. Now don't get me wrong, I'm very proud to be Thai but I can't say that I love Thailand. It's a wonderful place to visit but not to live. I could stand a couple of years of living there but I couldn't live my whole life there.

Yes, the people are nice and wonderful but it seems to me that they aren't very open to change. The younger people I know are bright and wonderful and they accepted me most of the time. It's the older people that got to me. Like when I wore my everyday clothes to Thailand. I could see people staring at me and talking behind my back. I felt so alien there sometimes, like I'm the odd one out.

Yet even with all these faults, I can't deny my love for the people of Thailand. At heart, Thai people are good people. Life is always changing and Thai people are making great leaps ahead. Whether it be changes in social or political life. Sometimes I do miss Thailand. Maybe it could be a paradise in the future for me. I'll just have to see as I grow up.

This next letter is from 17-year-old Khanittha. She has been living in America with her family since she was six years old. She told me that she enjoyed going back to Thailand during her summer holidays.

Here in America you can have anything you want, but I don't have any Thai friends around here. Sometimes I get lonely. I would like to have a friend who shares a cultural background and likes in music and stuff. I want to be able to communicate in Thai as often as I can so I don't forget it.

The 11 years I have been here, I tried so hard not to forget the Thai language. I can speak, read, and write Thai, but sometimes I don't understand it. During my free time I like to chat on the Internet with Thai people. It's very good that a lot of Thai people know English and can understand me. I'm so proud of that.

Next year, I will go to a university in Thailand. Many people questioned me why I want to study in Thailand when I can study here in America. I know I'm not like anyone else in Thailand who tries so hard to come to study in America. My answer to them is that I don't think colleges in Thailand are worse than any other colleges in the world. They are all equally the same. Wherever I choose to go, I will still get a good education. The place you should go is the place where your heart wants to be. My heart tells me that I should be in Thailand and live a life like any other Thai person.

Thailand fascinates me a lot with all the nice and fun people. I have so many more best friends there than here. I think I have been in America long enough and every time I go back to Thailand I feel closer to it. One of my dreams is to celebrate the Loy Krathong holiday. I just want to dress up in a Thai outfit and set afloat a krathong. I’ve got everything I want here in America, but it doesn't make me very happy. It's only a short term happiness.

Do you think if you moved abroad with your family to live in America or Europe that your opinion of Thailand would change? If you came back on holiday would you see everything differently? Would you still be proud of Thailand?