By LaRyn C.
Grade 4, Tennessee
Country of Origin: Thailand

Krittiya Chinankurpiwat, a native of Bangkok, Thailand, became friends with my mother while attending graduate school in 2001. I had a chance to speak with her on Saturday, March 5, to learn more about her and the Thai culture.

LaRyn What is the city and country you were born and raised in?

Krittiya I was born in Bangkok, Thailand

LaRyn When did you move to the United States?

Krittiya 1998

LaRyn Why did you move to the United States?

Krittiya I moved to the United States to attend graduate school and remained here after my husband moved to Chattanooga.

LaRyn How is the weather in your country different from Chattanooga’s weather?

Krittiya Weather in Thailand is very hot and humid all year long due to the location of country, which is right below the equator.

LaRyn What are some of the differences of your country in comparison to the United States?

Krittiya The American Culture is more independence than Thai culture. Some Thai families still have their extended family live in the same house.

LaRyn How many different languages are taught in school?

Krittiya Mainly, school teaches Thai and English.

LaRyn How long does students have to attend school in your country? As you know, in the United States, students are required to go to school for 12 years to earn a high school diploma? Is that the same in Thailand?

Krittiya Yes, school years are the same, but the difference is High school in Thailand begins at Grade 10. I think our school years are equivalent with the United Kingdom’s.

LaRyn Are schools in session year round?

Krittiya Our school year begins last week of May through the end of September, and then break one month. School resumes in November through the first week of March. Our summer break begins in March through May.

LaRyn What are your favorite Thai and American dishes?

Krittiya Papaya pok pok, American dish is probably potato casserole

LaRyn How often do you travel back home?

Krittiya I try to visit home every year, but since I have young children, the last visit was 3 years ago. Hopefully, I can make a trip this year.

LaRyn How long does it take to travel to Thailand?

Krittiya Average about 24 – 30 hours, depending on which airline.

LaRyn Are your parents and siblings still live in Thailand? Will you ever move back home?

Krittiya My family is still in Thailand. At this moment, I am not planning to move back home yet.

LaRyn How many years did it take you to learn English? What other languages do you speak?

Krittiya As far as I remember, English was taught in school since I was in Elementary school. Mainly, I studied in English structure more than conversation or listening. I learned a little bit of Spanish.

LaRyn What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced since moving to the US?

Krittiya Language is the most challenging thing. Like I stated in your previous question, I studied English since I was little, but we studied the language and not how to speak in conversations.

LaRyn Are you happy that you moved here?

Krittiya Yes, I'm happy to be in the U.S... but sometimes, I miss my parents, family, and friends in Thailand.

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