Nakry is a married immigrant woman from Cambodia who started studying Korean at PTMWC from the most basic literary level. Nine years later, she is now a center interpreter for Cambodian counselors, and is actively working as a representative of the Pyeongtaek Migrants' Council in Cambodia, helping fellow Cambodians. The following is her story.
I'm a married immigrant woman from Cambodia. My Cambodian name is Nakry, and Korean name is Suhwon. I have been living in Korea for nine years since 2007, and am the mother of two children. On July 27, I visited Cambodia's hometown for the first time in three years and wanted to share my experience, so here goes.
My heart was trembling when I saw the face of my parents and my brother who had been waiting for my flight at Phnom Penh airport. After hugs and kisses, when I arrived at my sister 's house, 15 at dawnbreak, I was delighted to see that my family had prepared an assortment of tropical fruit and my favorite dishes that made me reminscent of the fun times when I was younger. We spent the entire night, laughing, cracking jokes, and talking about how things have been.
The next morning, a group of 20 in my family gathered for a two-night, three-day trip to Cambodia's famous site, Angkor Wat. On the first day of the trip, I visited the "Phnom Hualen" mountain and prayed to the towering Buddha statue that all of my family members would live safe and healthy. We also took a refreshing dip in the waterfall there, and ate delicious food that we picked up for ourselves in the nearby forest.
The next day, I toured several famous sites in Angkor Wat. When I arrived, the historic towers and the lake scenery in front of my eyes was tearfilling and wonderful. Although the scenery was mindblowing, I feel that it was my family 's facial expressions that were plastered with joy that stuck firmly in my memories.
After the tour, my family went to see my grandmother. There, I met my aunt who lived in the neighborhood, and she soon called all my uncles and my distant relatives to come visit me.
One day, I went to my moms friend' s house to try the traditional costume, and I was suprised that nobody could recognize who I was. When I introduced myself and told him my family name,
he said "The only daughter I know in that house is Nakry."
So I told her "I am Nachri, who you know very well."
However, he soon replied "Ha! Do not lie. I know Nakry is plump and skin is black. It's not like this white, slender kid. "
He could not believe how much I had changed, and it was the same for the other adults in the town. I guess I came to Korea and changed a lot.
Afterwards, I came back to my brother's house in Phnom Penh, and my sister and I took a walk around the area weaving through traditional markets as well as department stores, buying my siblings the electronic gadgets that they have always wanted. When it was time for me to leave, I promised to come again and bring them lots of presents.
It has already been a year and it is soon the new years. I hope the center work will be good and that great things will happen for everyone in the New Year!
As it was our first Multicultural class for those at Jookbaek Primary School, many of us at the Centre chose to come help teach Primary 4,5 students about the diverse cultures of the world.
At the classes, we engaged into the cultures, greetings, customs, and flags of various countries including Chinea, Vietnam, Japan and Cambodia, and tried on cultural dresses and attires with the students.
It was also a meaningful time for immigrant council members to share the culture of their countries with the students of Jookbaek Primary School, and we look forward to working with them again.
Our PTMWC Taekwondo class participated in the 2016 Foreigners, Multicultural Taekwondo Festival held at Kukkiwon yesterday (Sept 24)
It was a good opportunity to test out the Taekwondo skills that many of us had learned, and it motivated us to set up Tae Kwon Do judo in our home countries if we one day went back.
Yesterday was a great experience, and we can't wait to participate next year as well.