Accessibility Navigation:

Interview with Athian Athian and Peter Dau

Dau, Peter
Athian, Athian
DuBose, Darren
Date of Interview: 
Cultural identification
Peter Dau talks with fellow Sudan refugee Athian Athian.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Darren DuBose interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
DD (Darren DuBose Sr.): Who's there with you? Oh some, some older guys how old are they?
AA (Athian Athian): Um we have two fellows here and they are boys.
DD: OK so they, they're able to teach you // ( ) // some of the cultures that you guys didn't learn before you got to the country.
AA: // Yeah // and when we're there we have a lot of questions they will like help us about those questions.
AA: Like when we're arguing about really the history um of our um ( ). They um try to help out about that.
DD: OK so it's great to have someone here as a resource.
AA: Yeah we are so glad that we have one here so that help us with, when we have a lot of people with us. Especially he don't speak English when we would ask him being alone and he remembers some when we ask him.
DD: So it helps you keep your native tongue too.
AA: Right.
DD: So he understands no English at all huh?
AA: Yeah, he trying to but it's hard.
DD: That's crazy but he helps keep you guys grounded with your regular language then.
PD (Peter Dau): We heard that one of the boys bring his wife to Charlotte here, in Africa.
DD: Really they, they came over as a family then.
AA: Yeah most of we, we were so not supposed to have one here but he bring his wife here that is for the family, he bring his wife with him and we were so happy to see his wife.
DD: Really that's great.
AA: One family that we love to have here that came with him.
DD: Wow you said they brought a child, how old is the child?
AA: That is a girl but she don't have a child-.
AA: He brought his wife.
DD: OK that's great.
AA: He have, he have a girl before he came, here he married her but when his process start um all us were put on don't have wives, reason being, that have to leave their wife because their wife are not ( ).
DD: Oh OK.
AA: And he came here and has an organization, and so and some childs they have been brought and his wife here.
DD: That's great.
AA: Yeah we see her on the weekend.
DD: Wow and so he lives near you guys also?
AA: Yes she live with uh, with uh, her husband. They don't have a regular apartment so and at some time they turn they do go-.
DD: And visit with them.
AA: And visit with them.
DD: That must be a great feeling that he can bring his wife. Did you guys, you guys didn't have wives before you came over did you?
AA: Yeah no we don't ( ) I don't have a wife before and I would decide now my religion is uh when I marry I don't know that I would marry from my culture from my wife because it depends on the woman that is uh really have a culture that I need in my life-.
DD: Right.
AA: Yeah that's what I would decide, if I had it a woman here in the United States have a quality that make her to be my wives my, my- and even though I have to meet a girl that from my country that have a quality uh good culture there bring my family down-.
DD: Right.
AA: Really good family ( ).
DD: E, e, exactly you don't know if there's any American woman that actually can share those cultural values that you need. Yeah so you guys might to have to go back and uh and, and pick out a wife then huh?
PD: Absolutely if I don't get married here, I have to go back and pick her out which lady would be what I need, if I done that, I will take time and get a really good person.
DD: Exactly, so it's better to wait to get the right one.
PD: Yeah it's better to wait to get better than to try to get one.
DD: Exactly, exactly now you said that the oldest guy in your um group is uh about how old here?
AA: Um he's uh 30, 37.
DD: OK and is that John?
AA: Um his name is-.
PD: James.
AA: James.
DD: Is he the one with the wife.
AA: Yeah-.
AA: Not, not the one with the wife but the, the, the guy who have wife who go to his wife presently he is twenty something.
AA: Yeah, yeah I don't know exactly which is my good friend's ( ).
DD: Now what, do you guys know what the youngest guy is in the group.
AA: Um for me I don't know exactly who he is but the way I see them ( ).
DD: And you guys-.
UM (Unidentified Male Voice): Can you tell Mr. DuBose how uh, how you know how old you are?
AA: Um right now?
UM: Yeah.
AA: Yeah probably I'm, I'm 22 and I don't know exactly. This year I hope if I supposed to contact with my father-.
DD: Uh-huh.
AA: ( ) Then I can know when I was born, I did not contact since I left so to give me a big ( ) so I don't know exactly when I was born, so that will, when I see that the reason that I will go to Nigeria is one, I never dreamed that I would ever go to Nigeria ( )-.
UM: Who decides that?
AA: Um the time that I have at the station you know those who go to the station that look like you, see how big the ( )-.
UM: How old you are.
DD: Oh OK so they sort of estimate.
AA: Yeah you have to see now everybody was growing up and they don't worry and like seven like ten people will not be born at the same on that same day. So we had to live for that because we don't know exactly the time that we were born.
AA: That's it really.
UM: Like have you ever met John?
DD: John Adam?
UM: Yeah.
DD: Yeah.
UM: They kind of tried to tell me and like uh ( ) I'm 21.
DD: Yeah.
UM: And I say what?
AA: Because he don't know exactly-.
UM: You ain't no 21 buddy.
DD: He doesn't, he doesn't really know how old he is then huh?
AA: You know huh like in our country most people that they know when we were born, right now if I tell my family exactly my dad knows how to, to read and write but he don't speak um speak English but he can speak Arabic so he have ( ) over there.
DD: OK, OK same, same with you then huh Peter?
PD: Yeah I know really the year that I was born and the month but I don't know the day.
PD: I was born in 1980, it's November I don't know really the, the day and date like that.