A Happy Holiday Story
Remember the date ... June 15th 🗓️
I just got off the phone to my mum and no kidding, it was less than a 1 minute conversation. It’s funny because I called to ask her a story as to why all our birth dates fall on the 15th June. Most families may take a few more minutes to explain why, but instead mine took all of 60 seconds to justify why - I quote her; “there are too many of you, how else would I remember them all”…lol… 🤣🤣
To understand, you need some insight into where my family is from. We get no birth certificate, as our culture sees life as just another human form. So when my parents decided to apply to move to Australia (after our application to move to the US got rejected under refugee status), we needed an identity to re apply under immigration law. This required our family to be sponsored, so when my parents were asked for the date of birth of their many children, dad decided to claim the 15th of June for us all! In doing so, this made it the easiest way possible to remember! All that was needed to remember was the year we each were born - this was mostly for the interviews we had to sit inorder to get our spot in this beautiful country we live in.
Even though I was born in Cambodia - dad decided that was too complicated…
Dad saw it this way when it came to filling out the paperwork, because he was born in Vietnam. So, to make paperwork quick and easy, he recorded all of us children as born in Vietnam! 🤦♀️ As funny as it sounds there were major downsides to this. Dad also made half my siblings a few years younger in hopes that we could come here sooner so that my older siblings could make it into free public school - but the process took approx 10 yrs 🤯 They all missed their opportunity to do schooling in Australia and also cheated from their retirement plan lol…. Ouch! 😳😖
What I have learnt is that dad had the most wicked sense of humour and he feared nothing! Documentation is just an identity - it is like a barcode, so don't let that define ALL of who you are. The courage and sheer determination from my parents to sit back and wait 10 years as refugees while our documentation was being processed, certainly inspires me the most! To this day it is one of the most feel good stories I still cherished 🥰 Nothing is forever! Good or bad we grow and move along as life happens. I miss how light hearted he was and most of all the stories he would tell.
To this day, I still chuckle out loud everytime
I remember his stories…
I remember his stories…
My favourite one has to be the angel that lived in the clouds. My dad had me convince that angels lived in the clouds and that we could see them from planes.To my surprise, I found at the age of 11 on my first flight ever, I wasted those 9 hours in the air searching for angels outside my window seat ✈️ That was my first experience of the word "bullshit"- I remember we all had no access to proper education, so this term made no sense to me - what we were told as children was all we ever knew and COMPLETELY believed! Dad really knew how to take advantage of that innocence throughout our childhood 🤣🤣🤣
I will leave you with a happy note…
For those who have always wondered why I sign off as Pia - here is the answer! I am glad they named me from the bottom of their heart, and didn’t let convenience favour over their love for tradition. Sophea is a Cambodian girl’s name but rather than have an “f” sound, it’s pronounced soh-pia-ah. Hence Pia! But because mum and dad had a bit of French influence from the colonial days, they decided to spell my name as Sophia. Growing up I really liked the sound of my name being pronounced as Pia, and to this day all my family and close friends called me Pia. ‘Sophia’ is too much effort for a crazy Khmer family 🤣
However, apparently it means wise and clever but I beg to differ 🤣
Happy Holidays, and wish you all a safe and exciting new year - we can't wait to see you back in our little hole in the wall cafe enjoy our buttery treats 🥳
Stay tuned for our next bite sized story.