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Thread: Karen in UK

  1. #1
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    Bower's Avatar
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    Karen in UK

    Interesting documentary on the BBC, Karen families being moved from refugee camps in Thailand and resettled in Sheffield. Sheffield? !*$%! there is real scope for humour here but best to keep quiet i guess.
    Great title its called 'Moving to Mars' directed by the same guy who has just released the film about Ian Drury, 'Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll'.

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  3. #3
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    Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

    Burma's Karen refugees struggle in UK


    In recent years, thousands of Burmese refugees living in camps in Thailand have been resettled in countries such as the US, Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands.
    The BBC's Vincent Dowd caught up with two ethnic Karen families who found asylum in the UK and whose stories were documented in the film Moving to Mars.
    Jo Kae and Daisi have not adapted as well to the UK as their children

    Htoo Wah lives alone in Sheffield where he has just started a four-year computing course at university.
    By the time he gets his degree, he is counting on finding a well-paid job in IT.
    The life he is leading is one he could only have dreamed of a couple of years ago - and he loves it.
    'Freedom'
    Until November 2007 Htoo Wah, now 21, lived in the huge Mae La camp just inside Thailand - the largest of several camps housing tens of thousands of refugees from nearby Burma.
    Most, like him, are from the Karen ethnic group - and have fled from the hard rule of Burma's military government.
    Two years ago Htoo Wah and his parents boarded a bus at Mae La bound for the Bangkok airport and a plane to their new lives in Britain - a moment documented in the recently-released film Moving to Mars.

    KAREN ETHNIC GROUP
    The Karen people make up about 7% of Burma's population
    Karen rebels have been fighting the central government for 60 years, in the world's longest-running civil war
    Karen civilians are often persecuted by Burmese soldiers
    An estimated 400,000 have moved to Thailand, many of them living in camps on the border

    "Sitting on the bus I felt like I'd got freedom," says Htoo Wah. "I thought, I can do whatever I want. I don't have to stay in the camp any more - I'm going to the UK."
    Moving to Mars is the work of producer Karen Katz and director Mat Whitecross. The film follows two Karen refugee families as they make the transition from the camp in Thailand to their new homes in northern England.
    The two families were provided by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and form a study in contrasts.
    Htoo Wah's father, Thaw Htoo, is a former civil engineer and teacher: he and his family speak good English and had some idea of what to expect in Sheffield.
    The head of the other family, Jo Kae, was an illiterate farm labourer with no English.
    They ended up living as neighbours in Sheffield. The film does not portray Sheffield as a paradise yet neither does it depict a Britain populated by violent racists.

    Htoo Wah is relishing the personal freedom he has found in the UK

    In fact Htoo Wah says he has encountered no problems with prejudice.
    "But I had difficulty with the accent. I had to learn that wa'er means water."
    He says he has found only friendly people, in contrast to Thailand where the family could barely leave the camp. "If we did leave people would talk down to us because of who we were."
    Generation gap
    The migration has proved harder for the parents of both families, however.
    Htoo's parents, Thaw Htoo and Tutu Paw, started out full of optimism about their 10,000km (6,250 mile) journey to England but it was soon dented.
    At the end of the documentary Thaw Htoo starts a new course in engineering. But in the year since Moving to Mars was filmed, he has given up because he felt he lacked the computer skills required.
    His wife, Tutu Paw, still has not used her skills as a piano teacher in Sheffield.
    In fact, none of the four parents has found employment.
    Both Jo Kae and Daisi have learnt some English - but not enough to deal confidently with shopping, say, or the arrival of an official letter.
    But their three children - Di Di, Ei Ei and Seh Seh Lu - say they have started to enjoy Sheffield. Like Htoo Wah, they relish the personal freedom England offers them.

    Thousands of ethnic Karen have fled from Burma to Thailand

    In both families it is clear the parents were happier with their old lives in Thailand.
    What made them move was the desire which has long made parents uproot their lives - to give their children the economic chances they did not have.
    Yet that same decision comes to threaten the family ties they treasure above all else.
    Late in the film Htoo Wah announces he is leaving home to set up alone elsewhere in Sheffield. His parents are hurt and baffled at a decision which would never have been made in Burma.
    "Yes my parents were shocked when I told them," said Htoo Wah. "But in the UK most teenagers leave home at 18. Now I'm studying at university and they're proud of me."
    The two families' experiences show that migrants are not always victims. But it seems that often older migrants can only look on as the benefits of moving to a wealthy country go to their sons and daughters.

  4. #4
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    Having been to Burma a few few times i find their story interesting, i have to add and i am not being fllipant, i would not want to be re-located to Sheffield,
    It is however a fact that Sheffield is a city of sanctuary, and the people are really very friendly,but i find it the most depressing looking place.
    I thank the people of Sheffield for giving these people a new start and real hope and i wish the Burmese families the very best.

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    Read this on the bbc website about a week ago. as i dont watch tv, i never knew it was on. i tried to find it on the net to download and gave up after 5 mins

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bower View Post

    Having been to Burma a few few times i find their story interesting, i have to add and i am not being fllipant, i would not want to be re-located to Sheffield,
    Yes.....still, looking on the bright side ,they are in the snooker capital of the world.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WujouMao
    i tried to find it on the net to download and gave up after 5 mins
    Moving to Mars, showing Tuesday February 2nd on more4 at 10:00pm

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