Archive for March, 2014

Eh Nay’s Noodles

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

There’s nothing like food to bring people together. That’s probably why so many of our Storytellers participants get excited about sharing their favorite ethnic dishes with an American audience. So pull up a chair and get ready to break bread–or, perhaps, slurp noodles!

Remembering Karen President: Saw Ba U Gyi

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

What is a nation without its heroes? Where would we be without the men and women whose acts of valor have become the core of our collective memory? Just as the name Washington resonates with America’s revolutionary past, so too does the name Saw Ba U Gyi resonate with the revolutionary struggles of Myanmar’s Karen minority. Stick around while Ta Thaw teams up with Gay Htoo to tell you about the Karen people’s first President and what his legacy means to them.

It Takes Drive

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Americans love their cars. And with good reason! In cities like Nashville, it’s difficult to get anywhere without driving. Having a license to drive is freedom. Unfortunately, for many immigrants who don’t speak English, that freedom is difficult to attain. How difficult? Key Do’s story might surprise you.

A Thousand Emotions

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

According to Hussein, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a dance is worth a thousand emotions.” These are his thoughts after spending the day at Cultural Explosion, Glencliff High School’s daylong celebration of the 42 different cultures represented by its student body. The dancers really are inspiring, and this video does a great job of capturing both the mood and thoughts of those present at the event.

Dress to Express

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Cultural Explosion at Glencliff High school is a day when students gather to celebrate their diversity. Hosted by Glencliff’s model UN club, it really is like somebody cranked up the music at the United Nations and started a party. And they didn’t forget their party clothes, either! Join Faben as she investigates the importance fellow immigrants place on traditional dress in modern America.

Kim’s Multicultural Montage

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Next Door Neighbors Storytellers partnered up with students from Glencliff High School’s model UN program to document Cultural Explosion. In this video, Kim captures a day bursting with color, dance, food and music as students and guests talk about how Cultural Explosion has impacted them.

The High Impact of Cultural Explosion

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

With more than 42 nationalities and 26 languages represented by the student body, Glencliff is one of Tennessee’s most diverse high schools. It’s also one of the friendliest high schools I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Watch Mina’s video to find out what unity can really come to resemble in our increasingly diverse city. It’s an inspiration!

Clearing the Language Hurdle

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Mohamed Ibrahim is one of many Somalian immigrants who now call Nashville home. Having arrived in Nashville as a teenager, Mohamed faced an uphill challenge with respect to learning English and thriving in school. Nevertheless, Mohamed has taken on his challenges with a winning attitude, clearing his initial English language hurdles and striving to accomplish even more.

Hard Work Does Pay Off

Posted on: March 30th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

As a school age Somalian Immigrant, Abukar Ido has worked hard to learn English and make the transition to life as a student in the U.S. In this story, Abukar describes how he took his learning into his own hands and got a lift from some pretty animated characters along the way.

Kim’s Multicutural Montage

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Next Door Neighbors Storytellers partnered up with students from Glencliff High School’s model UN program to document Cultural Explosion. In this video, Kim captures a day bursting with color, dance, food and music as students and guests talk about how Cultural Explosion has impacted them.

Cooking Kurdish food

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Bhutanese refugees compare life in Nepal & Nashville

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Coming to America: A Filipino Immigrant`s Story

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

One thing we’ve found in common with everyone we’ve spoken to through Next Door Neighbors is that they each have a unique and interesting story to tell of how they got to this country. In this story, Megan Macaraeg, originally from the Philippines, tells of her family’s journey of leaving their native country during martial law and starting a new life in the U.S. The end of this heartwarming video is not what you’d expect…

The Forgotten Legacy: Kurdish Handicraft Weaving

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

This thoughtful piece by storyteller Kasar Abdulla introduces us to the Kurdish art of weaving. From socks and purses to hats and rugs, Kurdish women take pride in preserving the tradition of making intricate crafts with their own hands. Abdulla delves deep into the significance of the practice in difficult times, explaining that the women “relied on their weaving talents in refugee camps; they would turn something as simple as a potato sack into new purses and exchange it for food with the Turks.” A must-see story.

 

Inside an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

This video takes us inside the Nashville home of two Eastern Ethiopian women hosting a coffee ceremony, one of the most enjoyable events in Ethiopian culture. Storyteller Nejib Adem is their honorary guest as the women show him the steps it takes to prepare for the gathering. Prepare to be hungry by the end of watching this…

Pope Shenouda`s passing

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

As Nashville Public Television prepares to unveil the latest installment in our Next Door Neighbors series -featuring Nashville’s Egyptian community – we wanted to share a Storytellers submission by NPT intern Sam Mounier.

Sam was a great help in the production of the latest Next Door Neighbors documentary. As a member of the Egyptian community, he helped connect us to more than a few people, translated conversations, kept us informed of important events and even took us to his mom’s house for some delicious food.

During production of the Egyptian program, Nashville’s large contingency of Coptic Orthodox Christians suffered the tragic loss of their Pope. Pope Shenouda, the 117th for the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church, played an important role in the growth of the Church in the United States.

We asked Sam to share how the loss of Pope Shenouda was felt by the Egyptian community in Nashville. Here is what he had to say.

The Monument

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Refugees and immigrants in the US often remain connected to friends, family and events back in their former countries. Recent elections in Egypt provide a reminder, while many Egyptian Americans living here pay close attention to what is happening abroad, they also have a different perspective because of their experiences in the US.

During the production of our recent installment of the Next Door Neighbors series featuring Nashville’s Egyptian community, we heard many stories about politics in Egypt and the impact on the community here. Some felt a general distrust of politics in the US, because they had not had a voice in Egypt. Others dived into the American political system because they appreciated the opportunity US democracy provides. All expressed hope that democracy in Egypt would provide a brighter future for Egyptians. One participant in the program, Zainab Elberry, stands out regarding her political beliefs. She has dedicated much of her life to encouraging political involvement.

Zainab has expressed some of her beliefs through poetry, and the following Storyteller submission from Egyptian intern Sam Mounier shares her poem The Monument. The poem reflects an intersection of Egyptian and American influences on Zainab’s identity and ideals through a description of the Washington Monument.

Am I the Terrorist?

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

In the past two weeks, there have been eight attacks on houses of worship across the nation, seven of which were mosques. Some have been vandalized, acid bombed, shot at, and on August 6th an Islamic center in Joplin, Missouri got burned to the ground after being damaged by an arson fire the month before.

This picture seems all too familiar for Muslim American storyteller Hayat Abudiab, who created this video about what she experienced when her Columbia, TN mosque was firebombed in 2008.

First Ever Storytellers Bootcamp was a Great Success!

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Last week, we had our very first Storytellers Bootcamp, where in three days local immigrants picked a story idea, gathered footage and edited it all into a video. Congratulations to everyone that participated–we all learned a lot from each other and we are very proud of your hard work! You can check out this story on our Media Update blog about the training and view some of the videos.

And here’s a great video about the bootcamp itself from veteran storyteller Alice Gatebuke (reminds us a little of ‘The Office’!).

Student Story

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

And you can view all of the student-produced stories we’ve gotten so far in the playlist below.

High School Students for American Graduate Project

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

For several months now, we have been involved in the exciting nationwide project American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen. A few weeks ago, we aired Translating the Dream, a documentary that looks at the unique challenges of immigrant and refugee students in Nashville schools. But as we have learned with the Storytellers project, there is great value in having the community create their own stories, in their own voice.

So, we have been collecting stories from high school students to get their firsthand perspectives on the issues that matter to them most. We want them to answer questions like, what motivates students to stay in school? What factors contribute to the decision to drop out of high school? What are the day-to-day struggles you face- including those dealing with academic hardship, bullying, lack of motivation? And for our immigrant and refugee storytellers: what are your unique struggles, and what is keeping you in (or distancing you from) school?

In the video below, Kenyan refugee Frahia, who is in 9th grade, talks about being bullied in school when she first came to America and didn’t know any English, and how falling in love with reading kept her in school.

And you can view all of the student-produced stories we’ve gotten so far in the playlist below.

Reminders of Home on YouTube

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

On the second day of our summer Storyteller Boot Camp, I joined Storytellers Prakash and Kamal in their homes as they told their first stories (with us anyways). While Kamal and Prakash were waiting to begin shooting the story about Nepali food culture, Kamal offered to show me a few videos of his former home in the Beldangi refugee camps of Nepal. There were several videos on YouTube featuring the camps and Kamal even pointed out his house in one of them. I had a camera with me and thought the experience was worth sharing.

These days, technology provides a blessing of communication for refugees whom in years past would have been further removed from their former life, their relatives and friends. Reminders of home, pictures, personal belongings often don’t make the trip with refugees when resettled. In some cases, sites like YouTube have replaced tangible items. Communication also allows families to help those left behind and find out quickly when events happen in locations that might not receive media attention here.

It is clear in this video that being reminded of home is bittersweet. I was struck by how both Kamal and Prakash struggle with the transition they have made. Life in America moves fast and forward with few available moments for reflection. I was pleased to witness this one.

2012 NETA Award for Best Nontraditional Community Engagement

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

The NPT Storytellers team, from the left: Kevin Crane, Will Pedigo, and Soraya Salam

 

We are excited to share that last week, the Storytellers project received the 2012 National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) award for Best Nontraditional Community Engagement. We are humbled by this recognition and glad that immigrant and refugee voices are being heard beyond Nashville. While this project hasn’t always been easy, it’s an initiative that we at NPT feel is important to our community.

Storytellers grew from the belief that immigrants and refugees in Nashville have important stories and perspectives to share. Often those stories remain untold. With making technology and training available, it is possible for immigrants to find and express their own voice. The result has been a broader awareness of communities and experiences that exist in our city.

Below are some of the judge’s comments about the project. Storytellers is much bigger than those of us at NPT; the real stars of the project are our immigrant storytellers, and the thoughtful, in-depth stories they continue to share with our community and beyond.

This online project is outstanding…The fact that this wonderful project and all of the work behind it happened on such a relatively small budget says a lot about the big success of this project.

The timeliness of this project is excellent given the pressing national immigration issue, especially regarding the concerns for humane treatment of immigrants across the country and how they can best be helped to thrive in this country.

If you want to connect with immigrants and refugees in your community- what better than to work with agencies that serve that population.

The strong partnership here easily could be considered innovative for a public media station…the stories are compelling and it’s no wonder that major national media has picked up on it.

Discovering Luis` Roots

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

In the first Storyteller training session, we spend much of our time talking about story ideas – what makes a good story, why things normal to you can be extraordinary to others and how to focus stories to their most important elements.

When it came time for Luis to discuss his story idea, he said he already knew what he was going to do… We are glad he did, because there is no way we could have thought up this…
Enjoy! And thanks Luis for a great video!!


Ceremonial Food from Nepal

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Storyteller Raju Dahal shares two of his favorite Nepali foods, Momo and Roti, traditionally served at ceremonial events.

Tennessee Foreign Language Institute’s very own, Thuy Rocco!

Posted on: March 8th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Storytellers is kicking off a new series of videos produced by members of Nashville’s vibrant immigrant community! In the coming weeks, you can look forward to stories from Burmese refugees who are part of Tennessee Foreign Language Institute’s ESL TO GO program as well as stories from students at two of Metro’s most diverse high schools — Overton and Antioch.

The first story in this new series comes from Tennessee Foreign Language Institute’s, Thuy Rocco. Today, Thuy is the Assistant ESL Director at TFLI. Her journey, however, began in Vietnam more than 25 years ago. It’s the story of a mother’s hope, a child’s potential and a family’s perseverance. Thank you for sharing, Thuy!

Hummus Chick

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Java Hemmat loves serving up her all-natural and unmistakably delicious hummus to anyone who’s hungry for something slightly off the beaten path. This culinary trailblazer also has a knack for capturing the true flavor of her own unique story with eye-catching images and infectious energy. Get ready to dig in as this pioneering, Persian immigrant gives you the scoop on Nashville’s very own Hummus Chick!

Carlos from Barbados

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

In this video, chef Carlos Davis takes us into the kitchen and reveals his recipe for entrepreneurial success. Like all immigrants who come to the U.S. in search of opportunities, Carlos has faced his share of challenges. However, much like his gift for turning ordinary dishes into unique, culinary delights, he manages to add a dash of optimism to some of life’s more unsavory experiences.

Karen Pepper Dish

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

 

Warning! This video has some spicy content. We’re talking peppers–and lots of them. Bru, a Freshman at Overton High School, gets the scoop on how her mom makes this traditional pepper dish enjoyed by the Burmese Karen people and their Thai neighbors.

Ling’s Potato Chicken

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Nashville Public Television No Comments

Meet Ling, a junior at Overton High School. Not only does he cook, he cooks well! In this video, Ling whips up a braised chicken and potato dish that’s become a family favorite at his house. Like many of his peers in the refugee community, Ling helps take care of his siblings while his parents work long hours, often late at night. Fortunately, Ling’s a natural in the kitchen. Just check out his chopping skills.