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Kong, Ran, 1980?-

Biography:

Ran Kong immigrated to Greensboro, North Carolina, from Cambodia when she was four, knowing little about her home country but less about her new one. She transitioned well, finding a balance between being an American resident and a Cambodian national. She learned English and performed well in school, but thrived at the Greensboro Buddhist Center, where she played with other Cambodians. She spent time with "Americanized" Cambodians, but her family maintained its ties to Cambodian culture. Even as she became the liaison between the non-English speaking Cambodian community and their American surroundings, escorting family members and others to doctor visits, or helping them figure out their health insurance, she maintained a strong connection to her native home. This sense of connection may have only strengthened as Kong grew older, and it flourished when she was challenged, as at the relatively homogeneous Salem College, where she found a passionate commitment to her heritage. By the time she was twenty, Kong had become an American citizen, and had voted for the first time.--From Oral Histories of the American South biography.

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