The students involved in the Tah Ka Pal project have been documenting Karen food for several months. Food is very important part of all the cultures. You will know more about Karen community if you know our food. Many Karen people buy food at Karen Market and Asian City Mart. Both of these markets are owned by women from Myanmar. The food sold at these markets are similar and are from Myanmar and Thailand. We interviewed the owners about their experience.
Most Karen people like to eat fresh vegetable and some meat. They like to eat spicy food rather than any other food. Unlike Americans, Karen people eat the same kind of meal in the morning, noon, and in the evening. The most famous food is Tah Ka Pah. It has a meaning to it. Long ago Karen people were in hunger and didn’t had enough food to eat. So they made Tah Ka Pah with vegetable, rice, bamboo shoot, pepper, and some meat. They mix together to get more food so they can share with everybody. People can buy these ingredients at the Karen market and the Asian City Mart.
Nang May is not Karen. She is Shan which is an ethnicity from Myanmar. Nang May also sells food that Karen people buy. She was happy to have her own market because she got to see people everyday so she won’t be alone. She choose to live in U.S because Nang May wants her daughter to have a higher education. She said her daughter can study better than in Myanmar.
Right now we are working on video about Karen food. This video includes Nang May, and Hgee Lah doh. We want people know about their experience and how hard they work. Refugee people can still cook with these familiar food because of these stores.
Post written by Paw Spai Moo, and Macho Pi