This page was inspired by a dear high school friend of mine who was a Cambodian refugee and, my grandmother.

My refugee friend had three different ages:

  • Her Cambodian age
  • The American interpretation of that age – one year less.
  • Her official documented age, as determined by the U.S. Government.

My friend never explained why this record-keeping snafu happened. I could tell that it frustrated her greatly.

My grandmother also has multiple ages:

  • The one on her reissued birth certificate — the original is said to have been lost in a fire.
  • The one on her baptism records
  • The one recorded on census records.

In addition to chronological discrepancies, the woman listed as my maternal grandmother’s mother on her birth certificate, is said to be her aunt by pretty much all of her relatives. The debate continues to rage, and as a result no really one knows who her mother actually is. Interestingly, my grandmother ignores the debate, and fondly remembers the woman on her birth certificate as the beloved mother who raised her.

Records can be weird that way.

↓ Transcript
Page 19
Sasha speaks nastily at the confused Principal.

Frame 1

Sasha
That’s not the only thing that’s wrong, either.

Frame 2

Sasha
The woman listed on the birth certificate is not my biological mother.

Frame 3

Sasha
My official birth year was randomly chosen by a doctor who couldn’t understand my native language.

Frame 4
The Principal seems rather flabbergasted and confused.

Principal
What is your native language?