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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kong Phok, December 19, 2000. Interview K-0273. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Being called a "chink" in high school

Phok recalls being called a "chink" in high school.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kong Phok, December 19, 2000. Interview K-0273. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BARBARA LAU:
Did you feel proud of where you were from or was that hard in high school?
KONG PHOK:
I'm very proud of where I am, and high school, even though lot of picking going around and stuff, but I never let down like, oh, I'm not Cambodian, I'm something else, or I'm not Asian. What they don't understand when they callߞthis might be a little racial, but what they don't understand, you know, like they not only like American kids, they'll call us Chinese or Chink or whatever. They don't realize, Chinese, Chink, Vietnamese, Laos, Vietnamese, they are two different thing. We're not Chinese. We might look the same, but if you look, really look at it, we are different a little bit, you know, the way we look. It always one name that they use is Chink, which to me it really bother me. I even had a fight in school because of that too. I mean, I went to my counselor, Dr. Pember [phonetic], and she lecture me about how life is. When I was young I became the student of my teacher, Adjan, and he teach me. He taught me a lot how life is and stuff, and how respect, discipline. I think without him I probably end upߞ I don't know how my life is. I learn how to respect elders, how to control myself, my temper, and what to do when I'm really frustrated. You know, just have to have relax feeling. He taught me a lot of those when I was young. I became a monk for three months. He taught me a lot. I'm very, very thankful for him to teach me all those.