We are so excited to be a part of what the team at Abroad in Buffalo is putting together. In an effort to embrace all of the immigrants that make up our city, the Rise team was asked to hop in front of the camera for a meal with a family to gain a better understanding of their story, background, and dreams for their new home.
In early May, we went to the West Side Bazaar to meet the Burmese family behind 007. Maung Maung Saw (Father), Than Than Nu Saw (Mother), and Hein Htet Zaw Saw (Son).
Our initial reactions are below, but you can see the entire episode premiere at WSB on Tuesday June 21 at 6PM.
Meeting the Saw family was a great experience. We were able to hear their personal experience about traveling and settling in Buffalo, plus make delicious food with them. It was inspiring to hear Hein’s story and understand his ambitious drive to attend college and help change his community. His parents are incredibly proud of him and though there was a language barrier, you could see their happiness and love for him as he was speaking to us.
Before filming Buffalo Abroad, I had never been to the West Side Bazaar. It’s embarrassing… I live about 3 miles away, work not even a mile away but still had never been there. It was an awesome opportunity to not only film at WSB, but have the chance to cook and learn more about the organization. No matter the culture, food brings people together, acting as a universal language. We may not have been able to speak directly to Maug Saw and his wife Than, but we communicated with them through learning their recipes and bonding over a meal.
This first experience with Abroad in Buffalo was an enlightening one. After learning their story, I can’t imagine the cultural shift that Hein and his parents had to endure – and are still coping with – by coming to live in America. With that said, I’m glad they settled on the West Side. The diversity in this community along with great community organizations like WEDI & West Side Bazaar have, at the very least, made their transition a bit smoother.
And I have to say how much I admire Hein’s drive and commitment to his family. He’s sacrificed so much at such a young age to help his parents plant roots and start a business. It’s amazing that through this process he’s still found time to give back to the community and pursue his own education. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for him and his family.
Blown away by the sacrifices that these parents have made for their son. I don’t doubt that my parents would not do the same for me, but we’ve been so fortunate to never experience the discrimination that the Saw family and millions of other families have faced around the world. To see their son, Hein, persevere through high school and head off to medical school is all the more incredible and motivating for us all.
So get on down to the West Side Bazaar on Tuesday, like the Abroad in Buffalo FB Page, and stay tuned for more news and more released from new episodes we’re filming this year.