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BHS Blueprint

The student news site of Blaine High School.

BHS Blueprint

The student news site of Blaine High School.

BHS Blueprint

Staff Profile
Jordyn Mosley
Jordyn Mosley
Staff Writer

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Refugee in The States

A Refugee’s Experience

Lucky to be on the third wave of refugees to the U.S. is Der Yang, my mother who was a Hmong refugee from Laos and came to the U.S. in 1979. She was interviewed on her experience while escaping war and growing up in the United States. Refugees just like her sought out safety in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, additionally with that they had to learn how to adapt to the U.S. lifestyle. Here’s insight on Der’s firsthand experience.


What is your name and how do you spell it?

Der Yang.


When did you come to the U.S.?



What made you come to the U.S.?

“War, we had to flee for our lives.” 


How old were you when you came to the us?

“I was only four, four and a half.” 


Do you have any memories from your time in Laos?



Do you think you would still live in Laos if the war hadn’t happened?

“Yes, because there was nothing to run away from plus we were poor, we probably couldn’t afford to leave.” 


How was it like growing up in the U.S?

“My mom lived in the countryside of Laos, she didn’t know the modern functions of a house, we were living temporarily with family and my mom wanted to give me a bath, she filled the bathtub but didn’t think to put me in the bathtub so I stood outside in the bathroom while my mom would use a small bucket to pour the water on me, well my mom didn’t know! The water that she poured on me went through the floor and on to the people below us and we got in a lot of trouble.” 


Would you ever go back to visit Laos?

“Yes, because I still have relatives and want to see the place where I was born and see if my village is still there.” 


Do you have any family in Laos?

“Yes, I still have a lot of family especially on my dad’s side.”


Was it hard transitioning from Laos to the States?

“Honestly because I was so young I literally didn’t remember Laos or Thailand and it felt like I was born here.”

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