Nuag Reh: Stories from a Karenni Elder

Nuag Reh is a ninety-plus year old man from Karenni state in Burma.  Like most of his people, he grew up in a small village in rural Burma with little practical exposure to the outside world.  When the Burmese government began a campaign to suppress ethnic identity and seize lands, he and others like him were driven from their homes and eventually fled to the relative safety of camps in Thailand.  Not many of his people have lived as long as he has and fewer still have come to the United States at his age.  He thus has a wealth of unique memories to share.  Stories of village life and community legends mix with sad tales of the intrusion of the outside conflicts; feelings of hope and fear mingle in the refugee flight to Thailand and America.  I am very pleased to have captured some of these stories on video to offer to Nuag Reh as a memory to leave with his grandchildren.  After the first video, he and his community were excited to do even more; they wanted to include not only stories but their traditional and modern music, their faith, and messages for their community as well.  They have allowed me to share all those below.